We are quickly approaching the time of year when Mike Ashley swoops in on his helicopter to Newcastle United’s training ground and meets the club’s main men.
Ashley normally meeting the Manager and players with high level talks reportedly set to follow.
Whether or not he flies into the training ground, the speculation as to what will happen between owner and manager has started especially early this time.
It has been widely reported that Rafa Benitez will meet Mike Ashley in the coming week to discuss plans post-promotion.
Much discussion amongst Newcastle fans as to what the outcome will be and the media are also waiting with interest.
These are two very different opinions that were given by journalists speaking on Sky Sports this (Sunday) morning.
Rob Draper of The Mail on Sunday:
“I am not convinced Rafa Benitez will stay.
“A lot depends on this week.
“The problem is Rafa is not going to want to go in the Premier League and get turned over by Jose Mourinho with a sub-standard side. They have done really well to get up but you look at the side and think they need nine or 10 signings.
“I would love him to stay and for Newcastle to thrive for the north east.
“It would be great, but this is two quite intransigent people going into talks, one of whom doesn’t like spending lots of money and one who likes to spend in the transfer market. I find it difficult to predict a really good outcome.
“Rafa Benitez is going to want to choose the players and they are going to want a lot of good quality players.
“I am not sure if Mike Ashley is ready for that, maybe he is. This is his moment if he wants to endear himself to people at the club and go for it.”
Jason Burt of the Daily Telegraph:
“He wants to sow that seed of doubt because it strengthens his own hand and his post-match comments the other night were pretty predictable.
“He is quite a political manager. He is in a very strong position. Newcastle have been very good for Rafa Benitez but he has been very good for Newcastle.
“He has done a very good job. He needs to have the right level of investment and control, that’s the sort of manager he is.
“It would be such a shame if he left because I think it’s been a really good story with the way he has reshaped the team and got them back up, it’s all heading in the right direction.
“To be fair to Mike Ashley he can’t just give him an open cheque book, neither should he, they have to control it, but hopefully they give him what he wants. I expect him to stay, there will be negotiations and that’s part of it.”