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Rafa Benitez press conference : No progress on new contract – Admits transfer funds sticking point

1 month ago
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Rafa Benitez has met the media on Thursday lunchtime.

The Newcastle boss facing journalists ahead of Southampton on Saturday.

Yet again the media were far more interested on asking about matters off the pitch, rather than on it.

Asked about what progress had been made on a new contract wit only now 24 days until the final match of his current deal: ‘We’re at the same point (with contract talks)…no news. Our conversations are about that (transfer funds), how much can we spend as other teams are spending a lot of money.’

The whole situation obviously such a joke, Rafa Benitez has made clear over a very long time what needs to change at the club and if Mike Ashley had any intention whatsoever of doing the right thing, then he would have done it by now surely.

A telling point in the press conference came when Rafa was asked about media claims that he had had a discussion with and told Matt Ritchie he wouldn’t be offered a new/enhanced deal, the manager amusingly declaring: ‘If I don’t know my own future then how I can talk to others?’

Which sums up the totally unnecessary mess Mike Ashley is creating at the club, rather than taking advantage of having a manager in position who could sort out most issues and get the club moving forward.

Instead, you have a manager who doesn’t know if he staying, the players also in the dark obviously, then nothing able to be done about pressing/serious issues, whether it is signing Salomon Rondon, the overall transfer aims, or indeed making decisions on whether to offer new contracts and/or which players to keep.

Rafa Benitez pre-Southampton press conference:

“I understand that it is your job (to ask questions about my future) and fans are waiting.

‘I finish my (current) contract on June 30 and I am a professional, what I (continue to) do is prepare the team in the best way possible

“We’re at the same point (with contract talks)…no news.

Our conversations are about that (transfer funds), how much can we spend as other teams are spending a lot of money.”

(Asked about media claims that he had had a discussion with and told Matt Ritchie he wouldn’t be offered a new/enhanced deal) “If I don’t know my own future then how I can talk to others?”

(Lejeune operation) “We sent him to Rome and he has had the operation, everything has gone well.

“The doctor told me that rehab has already started and it’s quite quick.”

Beating Leicester:

“We played a very good game and everyone could see that.

“Southampton are also coming into this game with a lot of confidence, so I think it will be an interesting game.

“I think it could be similar to the Palace game but hopefully the result will be different.

“Both teams are similar – they are very good on the counter attack, aggressive, and they have pace up front.

“We know we can’t make the same mistakes.”

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