Rafa Benitez is ready to leave Newcastle, if the club don’t step up their transfer activity after failing to sign a number of players this summer that the United boss had identified.

That is the claim of various newspapers on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

The stories simultaneously appeared late last night, with The Sunday Times, The Mail and the club’s own official media partner, The Mirror, amongst those to run the exclusive/story.

Some of the newspapers claimed inside knowledge/sources close to Rafa etc, whilst others backed that up with claims of unrest from Newcastle supporters after the lack of signings.

Only Christian Atsu has been signed and that was a deal that had to be made within so many days of the Championship season ending, or else Newcastle wouldn’t get him for the previously agreed £6.2m price.

The Mail’s story (see below) is representative of what has been reported/claimed last night/this morning, with the failure to sign players such as Abraham, Caballero, Mangala and Delph, given as evidence of why Rafa Benitez is said to be unhappy.

The Newcastle Manager had said he hoped to get business done early and with only eight days to go before pre-season training begins and 19 days until the first pre-season friendly, it would obviously be reassuring to see activity in the coming week, so Rafa can get extra quality players in who can join in from the very start this summer.

Since these coordinated/simultaneous media reports last night, which suggested somebody had briefed them, other journalists and newspapers who haven’t ran the story have reacted by saying that whilst they understand Rafa Benitez isn’t happy about what has (or hasn’t!) happened, he isn’t close to walking out as a result.

You can only speculate but like most other high profile managers, Rafa isn’t averse to using the media to help push what he wants to happen, so not impossible that he has been more than happy for this line of reporting to go ahead as he looks to put Newcastle in decent shape ahead of the season.

Until a number of credible signings are completed, then neither Rafa Benitez or the Newcastle fans will be 100% happy.

Last summer the likes of Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie were signed before pre-season training began and proved to be the most important players in the squad when it came to creating and scoring goals, having them for the full pre-season and all the friendlies undoubtedly was a massive help.

A couple of similar level key signings would be ideal in the next 10 days or so, in whatever positions Rafa thinks are most pressing.

The Mail:

‘Rafa Benitez’s future as Newcastle manager is uncertain after a series of transfer setbacks.

Last week, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham agreed to join Swansea on loan, while former Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero has decided to move to Stamford Bridge, two players Benitez was convinced would join Newcastle.

It is also understood that Benitez is set to suffer another double snub, with Manchester City duo Fabian Delph and Eliaquim Mangala poised to join Stoke and Lyon respectively.

Benitez guided Newcastle to promotion back into the Premier League in his first full season on Tyneside.

He was only persuaded to stay at St James’ Park on the understanding that the club would back a multi-million pound investment in players this summer.

Those close to the manager have confirmed that he has become increasingly frustrated with the slow progress of securing targets and further talks are planned with managing director Lee Charnley in a bid to resolve the situation.

The club declined to comment on Saturday night.’

  • TheNutJob

    well this was always on the cards & it may well be that Fatty has planned it this way

  • Leazes Ender

    The Journo’s at those papers are well aware that United’s financial year is from July 1st….. its a bit of mischief making to sell papers in the silly season.

    There will be a little flurry of activity around that date in a weeks time, and Rafa will make up his mind when he sees the state of the squad he’s been presented with by the accountant Charnley and his new boss whatshisname.

    In the meantime the clubs policy of doing nowt seems as firmly in place as it was before Rafa arrived and any targets have now to be rubber-stamped by two accountants rather than one.

    Viva la Rafalution whatever that means.

    • TheNutJob

      thanks for the heads up Leazes, no need to panic then

    • Mrkgw

      Well summed up Sleazes – worryingly, Pardew has stated that he is ready to return to Management and I hope that doesn’t mean that the cheapskates will revert to type and bring him back.

      • Leazes Ender

        That would be a turnip for the books.

  • Shipcote Willy

    It could be Rafa sabre rattling to chivvy up Penfold and Ashley or more worringly it could be Ashley reverting to type. Is Ashley holding back the cash because of the sale or does he just not want to pay the Going rate? Rafa is obviously not happy. The next week or so will show which is the case. One thing is certain if Rafa walks it’s another relegation battle and serious unrest amongst the fans.

    • Munich Mag

      Pardew will rescue us.

  • Dutch Docherty

    If you are going to sell your club, as it stands would you really pump money into it at this stage. Maybe I’m just thinking outside the box.

    • Scooter

      the money is there Ashley doesn`t need to put anything in, he never has done in the past & he never will

    • Munich Mag

      or thinking outside the Ibrox. The bloke is getting the Nikes on, he’s preparing to do a runner.

  • Scooter

    reading some of the papers this morning the transfer market is getting out of hand the likes of Bournemouth have bid £20m for Ake at Chelsea
    Newcastle always try to do things on the cheap & those days are long gone

    • Anita kick up the Hoop

      We should match any bid for that lad … quality for seasons to come

  • Jimblag23

    On twitter about a week ago a Newcastle fan posted a picture of himself and Rafa after he’d bumped into him and said Rafa was really friendly and optimistic regarding summer activities.
    So unless Rafas completely changed him mind in 1 week then this article is BS.

    • Pelican

      You do not expect Benitez to tell everybody he meets he is unhappy about the inner workings at the club, do you?

      • Jimblag23

        No but they both had beaming smiles and the guy was absolutely made up about the encounter and said Rafa spoke about various things to look forward to (look it up on twitter).
        I actually have more respect for Benitez to believe he’d cynically say a load of BS to a fan to get through an awkward photo opp in M&S (which is where I assume he shops).

  • 1957

    Benitez may have been convinced, that Abraham and Cabellero would join NUFC, but is the reason they didn’t really down to the actions of the club. In the case of Abraham, I suspect he felt he had more chance of starting games at Swansea than Newcastle (they did play with two forwards at the end of last season) and Cabellero had the chance to join the champions, live in London, with CL football, and you would imagine a hefty pay increase, despite being second choice, rather than join a newly promoted side.

  • Alreet

    In the past our work has been done in or around first day of july. I can see movement in the background then 3 or 4 arrive late next week then a few more the week after.

    Papers jump on this coz it sells their rag but i cant see him jumping ship after the work hes put in.

  • Toon fan

    If anyone believes the Daily Fail you need your head tested man. Give owa

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    After the internal power struggles have settled & the new financial year begins in July, lets see what unfolds…..

  • Tel Boy Telboy

    I have to agree our lack of transfer activity so far has been very slow to say the least, But as I said last week do you honestly think Ashley is going to spend millions on players knowing full well he wants to sell up ??????

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Ashley himself has put out the stories about Chinese interest.

  • Down Under Mag

    I think Ashley is seeing all this money coming in through TV and having a heart attack seeing the prices of players and the potential of seeing all that money go out of the his pocket!

    • Munich Mag

      Can understand it too, it’s ridiculuous the money being bandied about.

  • orang gilax9

    Haha .. M.Ashley has never changed, business and business business only in his brain, not the club’s progress.

    • Munich Mag

      Rafa kept his side of the bargain, Ashley will get the squillions in for being back in the EPL. He will have no problems whatsoever dropping a stinky one on Rafa from a great height. Maybe Penfold will also get caught in the crossfire.

  • Damon Horner

    Has a manager ever walked before July 1st because the second signing wasn’t finalised quick enough?

    • Jimblag23

      True Damo.

  • Delashio

    How can you have an “exclusive” in at least 3 different papers? Haha haha. Being a realist unlike most, i know that the majority of signings always happen at the end of the transfer window as players will always want to see what options they have. Plus more or less every manager in the country would walk if their club didn’t make any signings. Another pathetic story from the scummy mag!

    • Leazes Ender


      • Jimblag23

        Bit harsh there.

      • Delashio

        You are the idiot bell ender. Can’t handle the truth little cry baby?

    • Shipcote Willy

      Like Pardew did?

    • Munich Mag

      scummy mag, what you on about, the rumour is all over the shop.

      • Mark Potter

        Ever heard of Chinese whispers? Once one organisation publishes it (the Mirror in this case), others just copy the story. Often with a few embellishments of their own.

        So you get one saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice to buy player A.”. Then, “Toon considering player A.”. Followed by, “Player A has attracted firm interest.” To “Bid made for player A.”. Then they get to do it all again, with reports another club is interested. Then all over again if the player signs somewhere or makes it clear he is not signing. “Toon may lose out to club X.” And “Toon heartache as player A rejects them to sign for club X.”

        They do it to get clicks on their sites. Just as the Mag does. The more sensationalist the headline, or obscure, the more clicks. Obscure in some sites deliberately avoid mentioning players names etc, so you have to click to see who they are talking about. “24-year old agrees terms with Newcastle” and it turns out it’s Harris Vukic who we released, and no-one gives a f***, but they’ve racked up 1,000s of clicks any way. The articles about Matt Sels also give the impression we had brought someone in on loan, not the other way.

        If I’m frustrated, it’s with all of the fake news in most of these sites.

      • Delashio

        Pure rubbish like everything this dreadful page prints.

  • Mark Potter

    This is a BS story. You had all night to research it, but probably rolled out of bed at 10:00, checked your phone and immediately wrote this.

    Actually the Mail just copied the story from the Mirror. They sensationalised the views of “Peter Mann, of the Toon Talk fanzine”. Interesting, because I hadn’t heard of this particular fanzine. Neither had Google, it had no links to any articles mentioning it in the last few years, other than the Mirror’s article.

    The last mention of it was on the LinkedIn profile of someone called Peter Mann who states he was a Freelance Sports Writer with “Toon Talk Fanzine May 2010 – August 2013 (3 years 4 months)”. His current job is “Press Officer for the Northern Football Alliance providing round-ups and previews, results, fixtures and table on a weekly basis for the regional print press.”

    So someone appears to be telling porky pies. The Mirror in describing Peter Mann as representing a fanzine, or Peter Mann in saying he still represents them. Either way the quotes from Mann that the Mirror built their story on (that Rafa was so frustrated he might quit) were not from someone with any association to the club, or “in the know”. Nor anyone who represents fans. Just the personal opinion of someone who works in non-league football at the 11th level. Absolutely pathetic journalism.

  • Jezza

    No surprise at all. This was always on the cards. The nightmare scenario of Pardew back in the St James’s Park hot seat next season is moving ever closer.

  • GToon

    This might be a BS story as stated below but the problem I have is that there seems to be no issue in players departing but there are loads of delays about players arriving. We all know we haven’t got a squad fit to survive in the EPL and we all know we need five or six good signings. We also all know that pre season starts in just over a week and Rafa would like as much time as possible with any new players. If this story is made up then it won’t be long before it becomes the truth. When you add Ashley’s previous history in the summer transfer window to the mix then everything starts to become clearer – the money rolls in, the players leave, the manager identifies players he wants and ……………. we wait while the other more ambitious clubs start to develop their squad.

    • Shipcote Willy

      Doubt it is made up by three papers all at the same time. Someone close to Rafa has leaked it deliberately on his say so. Whether this is Rafa trying to put pressure on Ashley and Charnley over transfers and letting the fans know what is happening or a prelude to something else only time will tell.

  • Phil K

    The media WANT him to leave thats the basis of the media reports. Actual facts is he’s as frustrated by the selling clubs as we are. Lejeune transfer was supposed to be done and dusted a month ago. Delayed SOLELY by the club he’s leaving and his bloody agent no doubt expecting to bump up his slice or get Arsenal involved