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Opinion

Reliable update on Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez meeting(s) from the man at The Times

3 months ago
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The two names on everybody’s lips this week have been Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez.

The much awaited meeting(s) between the pair, set to take place this week.

Fair to say a lot of guesswork has been going on, in terms of who has attended what meeting and when & where, as well as what has/hasn’t been discussed.

The local newspapers in particular being guilty of pushing out ‘update’ after ‘update’, which are clearly simply guessing, or telling us absolutely nothing new since the last ‘update’…

Cutting through the smoke and mirrors, as usual, is George Caulkin.

The north east man from The Times only irregularly now talks about Newcastle United but when he does talk/update, it is worth reading/listening to.

Saturday has seen George break his self-imposed NUFC silence and tell us what he knows about the Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez talks/meeting(s).

It sounds very believable, unlike most of the other desperate stuff we are being bombarded with.

George Caulkin saying that as he understands it, there has only been one face to face meeting between Ashley and Rafa, with Charnley also attending, and that took place on Thursday afternoon in London. However, he says they haven’t met since, but that was always the intention anyway.

The man from The Times saying that communication/talking is continuing via phone and email.

George Caulkin declaring ‘There has been no great breakthrough but equally, there’s no cause for panic. They’re talking through options, proposals, possibilities, which is how it should be. And although this isn’t very sensationalist of me, they kind of just need to be allowed to get on with it.’

It is all sensible stuff what George is saying BUT there is one glaring thing.

Not anything to do with his reporting, instead it is the fact that this all (what is happening regarding discussing a new contract) should have happened a long long time ago and at the very latest, should have been brought to a definitive conclusion a month ago, once Premier League safety was guaranteed.

The only thing on the agenda now should be Rafa Benitez deciding who he is spending his already agreed transfer budget on, with Salomon Rondon already secured on a permanent deal.

As George Caulkin says, no ’cause for panic’ in believing this is now guaranteed to end badly.

However, plenty of cause to wonder at the stupidity of this situation, where no urgency has been shown in securing Rafa Benitez and giving him what he needs.

George Caulkin via Twitter:

“Having spoken to numerous people, this is my understanding of Newcastle United / Benítez talks.

“He (Rafa Benitez), Ashley & Charnley met in London on Thursday afternoon.

“There was no 2nd meeting yesterday (Friday) but nor was there supposed to be.

“Talks are still taking place but remotely (IE phone, email).

“There has been no great breakthrough but equally, there’s no cause for panic.

“They’re taking through options, proposals, possibilities, which is how it should be.

“And although this isn’t very sensationalist of me, they kind of just need to be allowed to get on with it.”

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