The first day of the Premier League Summer Transfer Window and all the Newcastle-related reporting is whether or not Rafa Benitez will leave.
Only at Newcastle United.
The links with West Ham continue and all kinds of media claims, most of which you can quickly take apart as obviously nonsense.
However, we still worry about Rafa’s place at St James Park.
Two things I believe to be true.
Firstly, I don’t think there is any chance of Rafa Benitez going to West Ham.
Why would he? If he was going to leave Newcastle he would have far better offers than that lot.
Secondly, I believe 100% that Rafa won’t sign any extension at NUFC unless he is satisfied things have changed in his favour and Mike Ashley will keep any promises this time.
So for the time being, I think West Ham will appoint a new boss but it will be Manuel Pellegrini, whilst I can only see the Rafa – Ashley stand-off dragging on for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, as I said above, the Summer Transfer Window will continue to tick away with nothing of real substance/substance happening when it comes to progress on transfers at Newcastle.
Meanwhile, after West Ham released a statement earlier today bragging ‘We are preparing to appoint a manager who has a proven record of success at the highest level of the game’, Mike Ashley’s people have responded by getting in touch with their mates at Sky Sports.
Sky Sports reporting:
‘Newcastle are confident manager Rafa Benitez will stay at the club, despite reports linking him with a move away, Sky sources understand.
United believe they have a water-tight contract with Benitez, which includes a large release clause.’
Water-tight? It sounds like back in 1912 when people laughed at anybody who thought the Titanic was capable of sinking.
‘A water-tight contract with Benitez, which includes a large release clause’, yes a £6m release clause is definitely going to stop any ambitious club in their tracks, if they were hoping to try and attract Rafa Benitez.
West Ham paid three or four times as much when they bought just one player in Arnautovic last summer, so to at last attract a top class manager like Rafa, they would bite your hand off if they only had to pay £6m for him and he was willing.
To put it into perspective, that £6m release clause is only around 36% of Newcastle’s record transfer fee that was paid 13 (THIRTEEN) years ago for Michael Owen.
The positives aren’t that Rafa Benitez is still under contract for another year and has a ‘large’ £6m release clause.
Rather, the positives are that he is still at Newcastle despite Ashley’s behaviour, and is desperate to stay…BUT will only do so if things are done properly.