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Amusing Spanish reports of Rafa Benitez trapped in a Newcastle United ‘Golden Prison’

10 months ago
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Rafa Benitez has given no indication whatsoever that he has any intention at the moment of signing a contract extension at St James Park.

The manager waiting for the proper ambition to be shown by Mike Ashley in the transfer market, as well as other areas of the club, including the substandard training complex and Academy that are desperately in need of investment.

However, that doesn’t necessarily equal that Rafa is desperate to leave Newcastle at this moment in time.

Despite that, over in Spain the media have claimed that Rafa Benitez has become shackled to Newcastle United.

That it is only the £6m compensation clause in his contract that has prevented the NUFC boss being offered three other jobs recently.

Describing his situation as being like a ‘Golden Prison’, El Confidencial report that the President of the Spanish FA rang Benitez to talk about taking the Spain job. Only for the talks to go nowhere after the Spanish FA were made aware they would have to pay £6m to get his Newcastle release. Instead they eventually have gone for free agent Luis Enrique as the new permanent national boss.

On top of that vacancy, the report claims that two Premier League clubs were also stopped in their tracks by the insistence of Newcastle United that £6m would have to be paid for Rafa Benitez to leave his Newcastle contract that has a year left to run.

This is where it all gets very dubious.

El Confidencial claim that Arsenal wanted Rafa but the £6m buyout fee prevented them pursuing the Newcastle boss. When a club like them are paying £60m for a player, to suggest they would be scared off by having to pay a tenth of that to recruit a manager they really wanted, is surely rubbish. The report pointing out Unai Emery came with no buyout amount after having already left PSG.

West Ham are also supposedly a club who lost interest in Rafa Benitez due to the £6m which would be due, not quite at Arsenal’s level but have been buying players for up to £25m and once again it is difficult to imagine that buyout clause would have prevented any move by the Hammers.

The reality for me is that Rafa has put in a lot of work at St James Park and wants to build on that but can’t find a way to persuade Mike Ashley to change his ways.

However, he is enjoying the job in other ways with his attachment to the staff, players and fans, AND still sees the potential that is still there.

Just like not signing a contract extension, I don’t believe the Newcastle manager had any interest in leaving this summer either.

As things stand, in 12 months time no £6m buyout clause or indeed any NUFC contract will exist at all. What happens then is anybody’s guess.

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