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’.

Rafa Benitez:

“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.”

  • TheFatController

    Ashley wants to sell the club, so wants to tie Rafa to a new contract to make the club look more stable to buyers.

    Rafa will only sign a new contract if he believes the club will be sold. So I doubt he’ll be rushing to extend his contract til new bidders materialise.

    Ashley will no doubt meet some of Rafa’s wishes this window, but because he has the mental affliction of always needing to be one up, he’ll not be able to fulfill all the agreements made with Rafa.

    Which will make Rafa want new owners.

    • Paul Patterson

      Any potential new owners will have approached Rafa and asked if he wants to stay. What Ashley does with his contract will be irrelevant.

      • TheFatController

        Agreed. Ashley is really selling Rafa as much as the a PL club currently, he’s key to us being in the PL next year. If we did stay up Rafa would be in a weaker position with Ashley (as I think we can guarantee Ashley would want a ‘yes man’ in the minute PL status was a given) but as we’d be more likely to be sold, as you say, any contract offer would hopefully become irrelevant …

  • Peaky Magpie

    Same page ??? Not even in the same book or indeed same planet !
    ASHLEY OUT !!!

  • Gareth Marshall

    My reading of that statement is that they’re not on the same page and that he’ll be off in the summer.

    Think about it, if we go down he won’t stick around to do it all again on a bed of broken promises. Stay up and he won’t want to stick around again to do it all on a bed of broken promises.

    In the summer there will be a dearth of available positions for Rafa to walk into, many of which offer him better working conditions than he currently has. And I know “his family are settled in England” and “he has a huge salary” – BUT, put yourself in the same shoes and whay would you do? If you hated your boss but were financially able to walk away from the job, wouldn’t you?

    Rafa may have thought that he could influence a takeover but he must realise now that he can’t really influence anything off the field at this club.

  • FatParosite

    I think there is possibly something else going on here. Sifting through some of the double talk Benitez says this: “Pushed as to whether he would extend his contract as long as Newcastle survived, Benitez smiled and responded: “Then the conversation [over a new deal] will be easier.” This is hardly the talk of Master’s Mate Fletcher Christian. This is someone placated with his situation and maybe not willing to gamble his ample wages to force something from the ambitionless owner.

    I honestly think Rafa has a solid case for constructive dismissal and the worry over his £6M get out would not and should not hamper a decision to get away from this divisive owner. That’s if he wants to get away of course.

    • Paul Patterson

      He does and every sound bite the owner has come out with has strengthened Rafa’s case.

  • Soldier

    as soon as he enters the last year of his contract he`ll be off, as there will be no compensation to be paid

    • FatParosite

      Would you want your name on a relegation that was not your fault?

      • Soldier

        he`ll leave regardless of which division we are in

    • Wor Lass

      Rafa wouldn`t need to dig into his own pocket anyway.

      • Soldier

        there`s a lot of clubs out there that would be only to happy to have him

  • TheNutJob

    more chance of Fatty signing a £20m striker than Rafa signing a contract.
    wonder where Penfold will be hiding for the next 3 days

    • Wor Lass

      Somewhere dark and smelly down South, no doubt!

    • FatParosite

      I think the £20M striker will go through, probably for £18M mind. That’s what I find so laughable. Bishop will push out the message that it is a massive victory frustratingly unaware they have only beaten a 13 year old record by 3 million. That’s £2M less than Joselu, and that’s all for a striker that is unproven in the premiership. There will be no other deals, and they will call it a victory.

      • Albert Stubbins

        Not a hope in hell.

  • John

    He doesn’t love the fans or the city. He lives in Liverpool ffs. He loves his £5m a year.

    • KRS1

      And you would prefer who to manage?

  • Albert Stubbins

    Same page? It’s not even the same book, infact your not even in the same library ffs.