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Rafa Benitez wants twice the transfer budget Mike Ashley is offering – Reliable report?

2 years ago

Saturday morning has brought a report that claims to have an inside track on the Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez situation.

This is now the tenth day of supposed talks between the pair and/or their representatives and still nothing official as to the progress, or lack of.

The media haven’t had a clue either, with both local and national newspapers simply repeating what had been said/claimed previously.

Surprisingly, transparent claims of supposed insider knowledge has been pretty much totally absent as well.

However,  maybe this is about to change.

This Saturday morning alleged insider knowledge (see below) states that the sticking point in negotiations, is that Rafa Benitez wants a lot more guaranteed transfer funds than Mike Ashley is prepared to offer.

The 90Min report says that they have ‘learned’ that Rafa Benitez ‘wants a guarantee of a £100m budget to take the club forward written into his deal; this excluding money raised through player sales, and not inclusive of player wages.’

I can see three sources for this new ‘update’…

Firstly, this is a totally made up story. Which is what most of us will automatically believe.

However, if by some small chance that proved not to be the case, then there are two other plausible explanations.

So secondly, this could have been leaked by Mike Ashley’s people, in an attempt by them to make out that it is Rafa Benitez supposedly being unreasonable for asking for that figure.

Or thirdly, Rafa Benitez’ people have leaked this. The reasoning behind that may not be as obvious but certainly I can imagine Rafa Benitez potentially insisting on this £100m without taking player sales into account.

Rafa has already found to his cost (‘Every penny’) that promises of money from player sales can’t be trusted, not when he might sell players for big money, only to find he gets a small fraction of any sale price to spend in the same window, with the rest to made available, supposedly, in future seasons. Last summer, Mikel Merino and Aleksandar Mitrovic were sold for a combined £32m (could rise to £37m depending on what happens with Mitro), Rafa signed free transfer Ki to replace Merino and wasn’t allowed to make a bid for Rondon, only a loan deal where he had to accept Dwight Gayle went in the other direction.

The same with the wages mentioned in this report, Mike Ashley and his minions are always keen to talk abut an incoming deal costing a certain figure, the figure they want to quote being the purchase price plus all the wages for the length of a contract.

Which means say if Rafa was allowed to buy Rondon for £16.5m, as per the release clause, the wages would then be added on. So for example, if Rondon wanted £80,000 a week (£4m per year) and a four year contract, Ashley would be keen to say this was a £32.5m deal. With all of that money to come out of any budget given to Rafa, not just the transfer fee.

However, when Mitrovic left for example, we don’t get Mike Ashley’s  people or their willing media friends announcing it was a £31m deal (as in, £22m transfer fee and three years of saved wages at £60,000 a week/£3m per season (I don’t know what Mitro’s wages were or how many years left on his deal at the time – this is just as an example!))

Considering how he has been left short-changed since his very first NUFC transfer window, a figure of £100m (however i is financed) to spend this summer is needed realistically to finally to get the club to progress, with wages funded separately.

This doesn’t mean that kind of figure would then be needed to be spent every window/season but investment is needed in the squad now, rather than just trying to paper over the cracks each summer.

Rafa was backed at Napoli and that has paid dividends in the following years as players bought by Rafa have been sold on at massive profits and invested in strengthening the whole team/squad on an ongoing basis.

From 90Min:

‘Benitez met with the Newcastle board last week, and ​90min has learned that the former ​Liverpool boss has informed the club he wants a guarantee of a £100m budget to take the club forward written into his deal; this excluding money raised through player sales, and not inclusive of player wages.

And although the club are keen to extend Benitez’s stay, there is an unwillingness to bow to his demands, thus the delay in any confirmation.

It remains to be seen whether the club will give Benitez what he wants – it remains unlikely – or whether Benitez himself will be given enough assurances to re-sign.’


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