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.
‘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.’