Mike Ashley wants Rafa Benitez to sign a new contract before the January transfer window opens, according to a new report on Tuesday morning.

As it stands, the manager appears set to walk away at the end of the season unless something dramatic happens.

The disastrous summer transfer window ended with the manager yet again talking about how badly he had been let down with yet more broken promises from the owner, so no wonder Rafa Benitez has demanded action before he will consider a contract extension.

In any number of interviews since that last transfer window ended, Rafa has repeatedly said that the acid test on whether he will consider staying will be what happens in January.

A direct challenge to Mike Ashley that the manager wants to see the signings happen, rather than put any faith in what the club’s owner tells him.

There are only so many times you can be lied to before you call somebody’s bluff.

However, The Northern Echo say today that their information is that Ashley is insistent on a new contract being signed before the end of the year and before what looks to be an absolute key transfer window when it comes to Newcastle’s survival chances.

This is before we even get to the other key things Rafa believes are essential at the club, such as proper investment in the Academy and the State of the art new training complex that Mike Ashley promised in 2013 would be built, fully three years before Rafa Benitez even arrived at St James Park.

It isn’t as though Rafa Benitez would be short of job offers if/when he leaves Newcastle, so why on earth he would have any interest in tying himself any longer to Mike Ashley, before seeing what happens in January, is beyond me.

As for Ashley, Rafa is the one thing/person he will hate not being able to control, so no surprises he wants to get him tied to a longer contract now.

With all these reports you do always wonder about how much is a real story and how much it is filling up column inches.

However, Mike Ashley and his people aren’t shy of pushing stuff into the media.

The Northern Echo pushes again the claim that Mike Ashley still supposedly wants to sell the club and the Chronicle were also pushing this line yesterday. The facts though tell you that the club is most definitely not up for sale, with it never having sold in the 10 years since Ashley first claimed he wanted to sell. Plus of course we have had two different media claims in these last few days of Mike Ashley allegedly being confronted and abused by Newcastle fans.

Apart from speaking out in the transfer windows, Rafa Benitez is of course Ashley’s perfect manager, somebody who is more capable than almost any other of potentially getting survival on the lowest possible spend.

A different matter of course when it comes to whether Newcastle United, at least under Mike Ashley, is the perfect club for Rafa Benitez.

If Rafa is to sign a new contract I think we all know it definitely won’t be signed until he sees if he gets what he wants in January and Mike Ashley finally keeps his promises.

The Northern Echo:

Mike Ashley  wants to tie Rafael Benitez down to a new five-year deal – and is determined to break the current impasse over the Newcastle United manager’s future before the transfer window reopens at the start of January.

Ashley is keen to initiate a new round of discussions, and is even prepared to take a much more hands-on approach to negotiations if it helps facilitate a breakthrough.

The Sports Direct boss remains keen to sell up, but accepts any deal is a long way off, with no one currently willing to meet his asking price of at least £300m.

His next move will be to reach out to Benitez and his representatives, although it remains to be seen how the Newcastle boss reacts if he is challenged to attend new discussions.

Three key sticking points prevented talks from progressing at the start of the year – the extent of Ashley’s financial support in the next few transfer windows and the scope of Benitez’s ability to dictate transfer decisions, an overhaul of the club’s academy structure, and a series of physical improvements to Newcastle’s Darsley Park training ground.



  • Realist

    Rafa will sign eventually. I would put my house on this.

    • panther

      I hope not, someone like Rafa should not be pushed around by the school bully because he got lucky and made a few quid

    • Kenny

      You live in a Bin, so not much of a gamble there then

      • Peaky

        😂😂

      • Realist

        Is that the best you’ve got kenny😂 your a little bit embarrassed you bottled my offer on Saturday after the match so back to all you can manage, the keyboard.

        • Kenny

          I wasn`t out on Saturday. you ever want a 1 on 1 bring a mate to phone an ambulance for you

          • Realist

            😂dont lie kenny you were in tge three bull’s ypu messaged me abuse so i said come down the five swans for a pint your reply was i dont drink with trolls now fk off. Yoy came looking for me saturday on here and this morning so send me your number and this 1 on 1 your after can be easily be arranged also I will bring no mate with me won’t be needed.

          • Wor Lass

            My dad`s bigger than your dad!

          • Realist

            Yea I get what your saying it’s all very childish, Kenny is a man who never grew up the film 40 year old virgin springs to mind.

          • Cushty lad

            Don’t take any notice of the north easts Joey Essex mate. Spineless weigh anchor! Hiding behind his drawn bedroom curtains………..& it ain’t only his keyboard he’s “pounding”!!!🤣😂🤣😂

          • Kenny

            Read & digest, i was not out & when i am i never take my phone with me, you f##king a$$hole

          • Realist

            Okie dokie, why you so angry all the time? Cant be good for your health at your age.

          • Cushty lad

            Whats the point in having a phone then???

          • Realist

            Exactly. Kenny makes it up as he goes along.

          • Wor Lass

            The Three Bulls is Moscow Mule territory – maybe he`s messing with you both? It must get boring for him when he`s in there from 6 in the morning on match days (allegedly!).

          • Wezza

            It isn’t and he hasn’t never stepped foot in my local which he claims he does. He is insane and wants people asking after him in random pub. Shame for him he didn’t know said pub was my local! It’s all lies just like the FCB

          • Wor Lass

            I think Brian Standen actually met him in the Three Bulls the other week. Said he was as mad as a box of frogs but was definitely real.

          • Realist

            Doesn’t matter what you say to wezza he will still say he’s a troll from Manchester who works at sports direct who is sex starved. The blokes not well man he needs help.

          • Wezza

            Reported that comment to the proper authorities.

          • Realist

            😂🤣😂👍

      • Realist

        Oh and by the way I’m in the 40 % tax bracket I have 2 bins as you call them and still relatively young. Never judge a book by the cover Kenny.

        • Kev Newcastle England

          Ha ha ive got 3 bins and a shy te wage

  • kingfisher

    If Rafa signs a new deal he wants his head examining.Going on past experience,why on earth would he stay here? Obviously Ashley is going to promise him anything so he signs.Rafa would have to believe and place his trust in Ashley that he would deliver on those promises, and we all know what Ashleys track record is like !!
    BYE BYE RAFA 🖐👋🖐👋🖐👋

  • Mike

    tosh once a proven liar always a liar this guy will not change. slight panic in case we go down and the club is worth nowt?? wonder how many will buy season tickets next year and all the Sports direct tat once down and raffa goes? And we end up with another lackey, Bruce, Pard, etc…. Keep the pressure on

    • Pezza

      What pressure Mike? A handful of idiots shouting at a building?

      There is a simple way to get MA to move on but nobody has the guts.

      • Viru leckworth

        Explain please.

        • Pezza

          The Mag pie group

          • Toon Arnie

            So what are your views – do you think Ashley should stay or sell ? Forgetting that Ashley has no intention of selling obviously.

          • Pezza

            I think Ashley needs to sell, I also think he wants to sell. He’s not going to give it away.

            I think the Magpie Group are going about things wrong, that’s being polite. If I’m impolite, I’d say they are frauds.

            We are unable to post your comment because you have been banned by The Mag. Find out more.

          • Pezza

            Why do you say he has no intention to sell? He’s not had a serious offer

      • Kev Newcastle England

        Name it

        • Pezza

          See below, or search the Mag for Bobbi Fleckman” piece, an open letter…..

        • Pezza

          Fan buyout combination with lead investor

  • joe mac

    If rafa signs then i,m afraid he is just here for the dough! we all know the snake is not to be trusted!

    • Billmag

      Can’t see Rafa putting up with constant relegation battles, he would certainly go down in my estimation of he did.

  • Pezza

    We all know he will sign, it’s just when. MA wants him tied up as it makes the club more saleable, Rafa is player his cards.

    • joe mac

      its not for sale!!

      • Big Hairy Man

        Never was.

        • Danimal

          Correct. Funny how the sale talk went quiet during the summer, when the club would have been an attractive investment, as opposed to the damaged goods on offer now.

          • Peaky

            It’s also funny the “sale talk” came back to life to coincide with Keegan’s book launch…..more PR 💩…

  • Cockneytrev

    Rafa is no fool,,
    Leopard never changes his spots,, Ashley is a liar and will never change.
    ASHLEY OUT!!!

    • Viru leckworth

      The irresistible force meeting the immovable object.

    • Kev Newcastle England

      The wrong owner went down in that helicopter

  • 45709

    Could he just sign with a clause stating no money for transfers releases him?

  • Big Hairy Man

    Rafa signing before January would be a green light for Ashley to spend nowt or a couple of bargain bin buys that no other PL club wants.

    • Viru leckworth

      While that would be true to pattern, if Ashley does, through his apethetic rationale, see Rafa walk, who would he get to replace him, remembering that such a person would have to compete in the,so called, championship for the foreseeable future? I cannot help but cling on to the hope that Ashley would se a third relegation in his tenure would be too big a financial loss. Why why why would he?

  • Lostprofit DBC

    The situation is simple, Ashley knows exactly what it will take to keep Rafa but won’t commit to all that. To avoid an explosion of emotion at the end of the season when he walks, he will be paving the way for a replacement at the turn of the year. Both parties want commitment from the other but ultimately if it isn’t going to happen, an early parting of the ways would suit both.

    • Cockneytrev

      I hope that when Rafa leaves , he doesn’t have a non disclosure agreement in place and he comes out and tells it all,,
      He’s a genuinely nice man and I couldn’t blame him in any way for leaving.

  • Oldgit

    Can’t see Rafa signing a five year contract, what about a rolling one year contract. This should keep Ashley on his toes.
    It’s ashleys club why should Rafa commit to help him.

    • Viru leckworth

      Has this contract really been discussed? Personally I think it still all just column filling. Fake news as is the popular soubriquet today.

  • Billmag

    Don’t sign anything Rafa until you get assurances in writing from the grotesque one because as you already know he’s been known to lie in the past. Where’s Kenyon gone is he castaway on some faraway island, why hasn’t some journalist questioned him about his alleged takeover, it’s all bull💩 like everything else that comes out of this club.

    • Wezza

      Correct. Even the attendance is lies.

  • Tweed Mag

    A manager as good as Rafa will want a lot more control over team affairs than he has now – especially transfers. Ashley won’t agree to that, he has held the club back far too many times through lack of investment. Ashley could be left scraping the bargain basement of managers if he does not get his act together. The thought of Moyes/Allardyce/Bruce/Pardew or even Hughes if he gets the push at S’ton fills you with dread.
    Will Ashley invest properly? Can you believe anything he says?
    Not unless it is in writing and witnessed by the Queen. Keep chipping away Rafa.

    • Cockneytrev

      Well said,,,👏👏

    • JohnnyH

      Bang on mate
      Couldn’t have put it better.

    • killymag

      Funny how time changes things, Fat Sam was run out of Town for playing the same as we play now or can time dull peoples memory

      • Tweed Mag

        And Souness before that. Arguably they had better squads, but it all comes back to poor investment by the owner which in turn dictates tactics on the pitch. What could Rafa do with Keegan’s squad?

  • Themoscow72

    Rafa was always going to sign a new contract just a question of when.

    • Kenny

      At another club

      • Themoscow72

        Good wit but for us he will sign. I heard it in the Monkseaton Arms so must be true.

        • Tweed Mag

          Do they have skype?

          • Leicester Mag

            No Tripe

          • Wor Lass

            Is that why you talk it so much?

          • Leicester Mag

            ? care to elaborate on this?

          • Wor Lass

            Sorry, m8 – I misread the post and thought the Moscow Mule had said “tripe”!

          • Leicester Mag

            😂😂🤣 I was worried for a while there!

          • Realist

            😂getting all worried someone on the mag didn’t like you, weak as pisch.

          • Wezza

            Signing off and on as guest? Original. Get a life troll.

          • Tweed Mag

            In a lift with a pint

        • Wezza

          You are insane. You’ve never even set foot in the place let alone saying you heard it in s pub and is believable.
          Troll.

        • Squintytoonarmy

          I thought you drank in Chinatown

    • East Durham Mag

      He told you in a lift . . .🤣

    • Kev Newcastle England

      You stupid stupid boy

  • Leicester Mag

    🐷✈️💩

  • Toon

    PR rubbish for the ‘support the team not the regime’ to cling on to, no need to boycott, it’ll be fine!

  • robbersdog

    Ashley and his cabal of stooges are setting up Rafa for a fall. They’ll blame the lack of signings in January on Rafa’s refusal to sign a new deal.

  • Andrew Dickson

    Rafa Benitez would be completely mad to sign any such contract. The fact he is still there is outrageous on so many different levels. If he is mad enough to extend his stay then he really has lost the plot.

  • X2

    Hang your heads in shame, Northern Echo “journalists”. Ashley PR merchants and for what? Have you no pride in your work? Integrity?

    • Leazes.

      The Northern Echo isn’t independent just part of the American ‘Gannet Co.’ news empire…..

      …. Where is investigative journalism?

      • Wor Lass

        It disappeared somewhere with John Pilger.

        • Leazes.

          It seems its purpose now is to stop people thinking or reporting.

        • Rich Lawson

          And turned into ”Stacey Dooley Investigates” !!

          • Wor Lass

            I`d never heard of her until you mentioned her here – are her reports any good?

          • Rich Lawson

            Dreadful,whining and ill informed,what exotic location can we put Stacey in today and marvel that no one gives her a s##p ? Currently bringing her journalistic powers to Strictly Come Dancing !

          • Mr wobert

            I like her she dances well

          • Rich Lawson

            She doesn’t have to open her mouth to do that !

  • 1957

    Can’t see him signing up before the January window ends.

    If he gets a little bit of money to spend in January he will give way on the academy improvements, he’s never had a great interest in bringing on his own players in the past, and will sign a new contract. I suspect it is more likely to be a rolling contract rather than a fixed length with a years salary for breaking it or with a one season notice period.

    That doesn’t resolve the problem though, Ashley will still be there and the war of words between manager and owner will start up again eventually. Selling the club is the only way to move forward long term but I’m not sure there is a buyer out there at Ashley’s price.

    • Leazes.

      ….cant see him signing up ‘after’ the window closes either……

  • killymag

    What Manager with any self respect or ambition would consider such a contract if it was not for the money .

  • Toontone100

    Not a hope in Hell of that (quite rightly)….. I wouldn’t in Rafa’s shoes and I very much doubt he will either. Cashley needs to prove himself first … and we all know that isn’t going to happen.

  • toonterrier

    Check the small print Rafa. You’re about to get done.

  • Kneebotherm8

    Bottom line is that Ashley has done/will do nothing to get Benitez to extend his contract…… he’s constructively been showing him the door for the last couple of seasons whilst trying to convince Rafa supporters that he’s hell bent on keeping him………”Every effort was made by me to keep Rafa at the club” is what he’ll be spouting when Benitez leaves………you’d have to be a mug to believe this bllsht…….

  • graham18

    The FCB will promise Rafa the earth before January.He will say money is available.Rafa signs then look what happens-the FCB will go back on his promises -wots new?Best thing to happen is Rafa to leave,we go down to at least league one and the FCB will sell.It is the only way we will get rid of the FCB-sorry but it is what it is…

  • Wezza

    Oh really. Does the FCB think Rafa is stupid?
    He will most likely offer more lies and IF a contract is signed he will go back on his promises yet again. The FCB is a compulsive liar and will never change. End of.
    #BoycottWolves
    #AshleyOut
    #TrollsOut

  • Blackburn1066

    If Rafa signs a new contract I will eat my gran bairns