Rafa Benitez has revealed that he met up with Mike Ashley earlier this summer.
The manager stating the meeting ‘was fine’….though with the explicit warning ‘but we are still where we are.’
With only a year left on his Newcastle contract, every day that goes by without the United boss agreeing an extension, tells us everything.
Asked about that possibility, Rafa Benitez declared he would be happy to stay for the next 10 years – but only if everyone at the club is ‘pushing in the right direction.’
We are at the sharp end now with the squad flying off for pre-season training in Ireland, the first friendly only six days away, and the transfer window ending four weeks tomorrow.
Rafa Benitez wants to be properly supported in the transfer market and to see much-needed investment in the substandard training facilities and failing Academy set-up.
Reiterating how he would like to stay because the potential of Newcastle United is still there, Rafa warns Mike Ashley ‘but we have to do things like I imagine have to be done in a football club.’
As it stands, Newcastle United have a net spend of only £4m after eight weeks of this transfer window and with Merino set to go for over £10m and the likes of Mitrovic and Mbemba set to add £25m to the outgoing deals, this is not a time for Mike Ashley to be pleading poverty.
With expectations that there was going to be significant investment in the squad over and above any money generated by sales, the next four weeks are surely set to be crucial in the owner/manager relationship.
The last three transfer windows it has been a case of a very angry and frustrated Rafa Benitez by the end of it and much said of broken promises by Ashley.
Rafa Benitez has been careful in how he has spoken this time but the message is clear, he won’t be staying at Newcastle United beyond the end of his contract unless there are major changes in terms of how the club is run by Mike Ashley.
“I was talking to him (Mike Ashley) in the summer, face to face, it was fine.
“But we are still where we are.
“We spoke about the future and the possibilities.
“I said we have to see how things are going, then we can sit down later on and discuss that (the possibility of extending Rafa’s stay at NUFC).
“I would like to stay here for five years, or 10 years if possible, because I can see the potential…the fans and the city.
“Everybody though (has to be) pushing in the right direction.
“But we have to do things like I imagine have to be done in a football club (before I could commit).”