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Mike Ashley puts new offer to Rafa Benitez in writing – Report

7 months ago
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News on Tuesday morning that Mike Ashley has made a written offer of a new contract to Rafa Benitez.

The Chronicle say that their information is that the offer in writing has been made by Ashley to Rafa in order to ‘entice him to extend beyond this season.’

Whilst the report says Newcastle/Ashley want things to move along now, they claim ‘Benitez will officially start contract talks once Newcastle are declared as a Premier League club for next season.’

In a story along similar lines this morning, the Northern Echo say Newcastle want clarity from Benitez once safety is assured.’

Whatever you believe of these latest reports/stories (see below), we can be confident surely that Mike Ashley knows fine well by now, what he needs to do if he has any interest in Rafa Benitez staying on after this summer.

He could send the written offer tattooed on Lee Charnley’s back and it would make no difference if it is the same old nonsense. Empty sly promises of ‘every penny’ to be made available to the manager, which then turn out to be an insistence on £20m+ profit on transfer deals as happened last summer.

Or the commitment to Rafa Benitez having the final say on transfers, which then turns out to be only the final say on only transfer targets that have been previously approved by Mike Ashley.

Back in 2013 Mike Ashley promised that a new state of the art training complex would be built within a couple of years as it was essential to Newcastle being able to complete. There isn’t even one brick laid yet.

Whilst we all commend Rafa and his players for the job they have done this season, the simple fact is that once again he was put in a situation whereby another relegation struggle was all but guaranteed.

It is relative success, with the resources he has had available, that safety looks all but assured by April once again BUT Rafa Benitez won’t be signing up for this again.

The manager wasn’t even allowed to make an offer to buy Salomon Rondon because he was 28 and set to turn 29 last September.

There are two things I find very hard to believe:

Firstly, that Mike Ashley will now allow the price to be met for Rondon now he is 29 and set to turn 30 in September.

Secondly, that Rafa Benitez will have any intention of agreeing to any new deal, if he isn’t even allowed to buy a player who has been integral to this season’s safety mission and who has suggested that if the right players are put around him, that Newcastle could be much more of an attacking threat next season and have the potential to progress finally.

What is crystal clear is that there has been zero progress from this time last year.

Newcastle United now stand with the following stats:

Played 31 Won 9 Drawn 8 Lost 14 Goals For 31 Goals Against 40 Points 35

Even down to goals scored and conceded, these are the exact same stats after 31 games last season.

What better pointer could you have to the fact that the manager was left in the exact same state of limbo, a lack of backing meaning he couldn’t go forward and having to rely on his skills and experience to ensure that at least the team/club didn’t go backwards.

We know after 12 years what Mike Ashley is all about, attempted survival in the Premier League at the lowest possible spend.

It is ironic that in Rafa Benitez he has got the best possible manager to succeed in doing that BUT now the contract is coming to an end, a manager of Rafa’s standing will no longer be forced to put up with these unnecessary constraints.

A club with the 19th biggest revenues in the World should not have the bar set so low as simply trying to avoid relegation.

The Chronicle:

‘United have made Benitez a written offer to entice him to extend his deal beyond this season.

With the club on 35 points, many feel that Newcastle are more or less safe from relegation and the time is right to reopen negotiations on the deal during the international break.

The encouraging sign is that Benitez is not shutting the door on the prospect of staying on Tyneside.

Benitez will officially start contract talks once Newcastle are declared as a Premier League club for next season.’

The Northern Echo:

‘Newcastle want clarity from Benitez once safety is assured

Newcastle United’s hierarchy will attempt to pin down Rafael Benitez to formal contract talks as soon as the club’s Premier League survival is set in stone.

Newcastle chiefs have respected Benitez’s refusal to discuss his future until the club is guaranteed to finish outside the bottom three, and remain hopeful he can be persuaded to agree to a new deal, but there is growing concern at the potential for the current uncertainty to drag on into the summer.

Ashley and Charnley are also ready to sanction a significant overhaul of the academy, including a major improvement to the current infrastructure at Little Benton, but future transfer policy and budget guarantees could still prove major sticking points.’

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