Monday afternoon brings reports of ‘positive discussions’ between Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United.
With Rafa allegedly telling the club ‘he has no intention of walking away from St James Park this summer.’
However, in a kind of glass half full/half empty scenario, The Chronicle also indicate there has been absolutely no progress in the Spaniard being convinced to sign a new contract.
So as it stands, this latest exclusive could be seen as ‘Rafa intends to see out the last year of his contract.’
With previous transfer windows having seen Rafa Benitez ready with a number of deals he has personally prepared for signing off, only to see the club fail to push them through, the news that ‘Discussions have now opened with Lee Charnley about recruitment’ isn’t exactly uplifting.
With it being around five weeks since Newcastle knew they were definitely staying in the Premier League, Rafa Benitez will have wasted little time in working on potential signings ahead of the window opening last Thursday.
Nobody expects instant signings but at the very least fans would expect the £4m Martin Dubravka deal to be tied up very quickly, as well as a serious offer to go in for Kenedy, to try to at least see if a permanent deal would tempt both player and Chelsea.
Amusing to see the claim that Mike Ashley has supposedly told Lee Charnley ‘to ensure that Benitez remains in charge’, when it is the owner himself who makes all the big decisions, such as whether or not to agree to Rafa Benitez’ demands for a realistic transfer budget and the freedom to operate as he sees fit.
‘Rafa Benitez has told Newcastle United chiefs he has no intention of walking away from St James’ Park this summer.
We understand that positive discussions have taken place between Benitez and the club hierarchy following a week of uncertainty since the campaign ended.
A competitive transfer budget is in place, but Benitez knows he may have to shave the club’s wage bill if he wants to bring in more high-profile targets this summer.
But even though Benitez has yet to agree to a new deal with the Magpies a week after the season finished, he is not likely to break his existing deal to move elsewhere.
Charnley has been told by owner Mike Ashley to ensure that Benitez remains in charge, with the former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager’s future at the top of the club’s priority list.
The club’s board know that Benitez leaving the club would be a PR disaster this summer and they would be unable to fill the huge void that would leave behind.
Discussions have now opened with managing director Lee Charnley about recruitment, with the duo working through a specific shortlist of targets.’