Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Mike Ashley gives Rafa Benitez 6 week deadline to sign new contract – Report

5 months ago

Rafa Benitez has been given a deadline of six weeks to agree a new contract extension according to an ‘Exclusive’ on Sunday morning.

The story comes with a headline of ‘Mike Ashley expects Rafa Benitez to stay at Newcastle after January splurge’ in the transfer market.

They are two separate things because the journalist writing the ‘exclusive’ would vert rarely, if ever, be responsible for coming up with the headline as well.

The definition of ‘splurge’ is ‘An act of spending money freely or extravagantly’, can anybody honestly believe that Mike Ashley buying just one player for £16m (rising to £21m wit eventual add-ons, mainly depending on Newcastle avoiding relegation) equals that headline?

Well I suppose Mike Ashley probably convinces himself that is the case and will be assured by his usual toadying entourage who were with him at Wembley on Saturday (see above) that this is the case.

No sensible Newcastle fan will think this is the case though, especially when Rafa Benitez has been lied to and let down in the previous four transfer windows, two of which where he wasn’t allowed to buy a single player.

The ‘exclusive’ this morning comes from The Mirror and reports/claims that ‘after he delivered the Spaniard’s top January target’, Mike Ashley expects Rafa to now sign a three year contract extension.

With these type of stories, you can think of  three potential sources for it: from the Mike Ashley side of things, Rafa’s people, or simply totally invented by the journalist.

Discounting that third option, it is clear that if the story has been put out by anybody, it will be Mike Ashley’s PR people.

It was always going to happen, whenever there is any kind of rare positive at the club, parts of the media will always go way over the top and exaggerate whatever Mike Ashley has finally allowed to happen.

Deep in a relegation battle and Mike Ashley allows the manager to buy only one player on the very last day of the transfer window. A player who hasn’t played any games for two months and is facing a massive step up from the MLS to Premier League.

If Miguel Almiron can make any kind of a positive impact in the final 13 matches it should be seen as a bonus, rather than expecting him to single-handedly suddenly make Newcastle an attacking  threat (only rock bottom Huddersfield have scored less goals than the 21 NUFC have managed in 25 games).

Good luck to Antonio Barreca but he was some way down the list of budget loan left-backs Rafa was restricted to and with the Lukaku deal failing, the manager turned to the Italian to at least get another body in. When he couldn’t get a game for Torino last season (3 league starts) or second bottom Monaco this season (7 league starts and only one since September), it would be pretty amazing if he can manage to make any kind of an impact in the Premier League.

A ‘splurge’ for me would have involved at least three or more first team buys and certainly for it to have any chance of convincing the manager things have really changed.

On Friday Rafa Benitez made this clear: ‘I have never said I would leave and I’m not saying just because we’ve signed 2 players I would sign (another contract).’

The Mirror:

‘Newcastle owner Mike ­Ashley feels boss Rafa Benitez should now sign a new ­three-year ­contract after he delivered the Spaniard’s top ­January transfer target.

The St James’ Park supremo ­expects the £21million signing of Miguel Almiron from MLS champions Atlanta United to be followed by Benitez committing his own future to the club.

Ashley wants a decision from his manager in the next six weeks, with Benitez only having six months left on his contract.

Originally there was talk of a five-year deal, but now Ashley is offering a compromise three-year contract complete with lucrative bonuses and a promise of more signings in the summer.

Now he hopes he has done enough to turn the tide and keep the Spaniard on Tyneside.’


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2019 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks