Rafa Benitez was asked about the possibility of signing a new contract when having his chat recently with Mike Ashley.
The Newcastle Manager making clear that this wouldn’t be happening whilst there was a transfer window open and he and the team were fighting a relegation battle.
That chat was of course mainly about the January transfer window and Rafa Benitez told the media that the owner had promised to back him in the remaining days of the window, with his targets set to be landed.
With only three days until the January window closes, only short-term loan signing Kenedy has arrived.
The Mike Ashley PR machine pushed out the story that Newcastle were making an approach for a £20m striker, that turned into a £12m bid for Nicolai Jorgensen. The current position according to Dutch media is that Feyenoord are sticking to their £20m valuation and Newcastle are nowhere near that, with claims of £15m being Ashley’s highest offer.
Rafa of course wanted all his signings in far earlier so they could have an impact on January’s matches and be well settled for crucial games in early February.
As it stands now, it looks like the United boss won’t have any extra options (apart from Kenedy) for the very winnable game on Wednesday (Burnley have two points from last 18), whilst it would also be a stretch to see Rafa starting any new signing at Palace next Sunday unless they arrive pronto.
His careful attention to detail in planning for matches means he wants to work with his starting team through the week to drill into them what is expected, he isn’t one to throw new signings in unprepared – unlike so many previous managers Newcastle have had.
Commenting further on the possibility of an extended contract when asked, Rafa Benitez made clear his conversation with Mike Ashley would remain private but that he has made the owner fully clear of his position.
However, when you read on with what he then has to say, it isn’t hard to read between the lines to see what that position is.
The Newcastle Manager once again saying how much he loves the fans and the city, as well as the potential of the club if things are done properly – which is what attracted him in the first place.
However, after being undermined in these last two transfer windows, and this January one so far, things clearly have to change on this front before any extended contract will be considered.
As Rafa says about Mike Ashley and transfers: ‘The main thing is that we have to be on the same page. That is pretty simple.’
At the end of the last two transfer windows, Benitez made clear his anger and frustration at the lack of backing from Mike Ashley after being assured by the owner it would happen. Signings are already arriving too late but certainly if Rafa is once again telling us how he has been badly let down, it would be very bizarre if anybody then thought the Spaniard was fancying extending the length of time he would be tied to Mike Ashley.
A massive few days ahead and I definitely don’t think it will cut it with Rafa Benitez, if Mike Ashley and his minions are then claiming that they just couldn’t get those signings ‘over the line’.
“I told Mike (Ashley) what I thought (about potentially extending Rafa’s contract).
“He knows my opinion and we don’t have to talk now (about it).
“I don’t have any problem with my future.
“I am really pleased to be here: I love the city, the fans, the potential, everything.
“I can give my opinion in terms of football operations but everything’s subject to the financial position of the club.
“I give names, have some information and feedback from Lee Charnley, then give my opinion.
“The main thing is that we have to be on the same page.
“That is pretty simple.”