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Sky Sports confirm Mike Ashley meeting with Rafa Benitez today

5 days ago
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Mike Ashley is having talks with Rafa Benitez today.

The Telegraph (see below) were the first to break the story earlier today.

The newspaper reporting that the Newcastle United owner and manager were meeting at a secret location in London, to try and reach agreement on a new contract.

Rafa Benitez having said last Friday (10 May) that a meeting was scheduled for next (this) week.

The other newspapers have followed up the story and basically repeated The Telegraph report.

That report having said that assuming no major obstacles…an announcement could be expected as early as this weekend.

Which would be quite handy, as every other club is currently trying to sign players (the transfer window opened at midnight (Wednesday night/Thursday morning), as opposed to very belatedly trying to sort a manger for next season.

Now Sky Sports have confirmed the meeting today between Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley.

Their man covering Newcastle United, Keith Downie, has said that the meeting is taking place today and that it is expected they will continue into Friday.

The Sky Sports man repeating previous claims/reports which had said there was a willingness on both sides to try and reach an agreement.

Here’s hoping they are right on this occasion.

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The Mag – Earlier Today (Thursday 16 May 2019):

It was last Friday when Rafa Benitez said he expected/hoped to be meeting Mike Ashley within the next 10 days.

The Newcastle manager saying that Lee Charnley would be there and indicated that for the talks to be meaningful, the club’s owner also needed to be there.

Thursday morning brings news that the much awaited talks are set to start today.

With The Telegraph reporting that their information is that Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez will be meeting in a secret location in London today, to try and find agreement on a new contract.

The newspaper states that Rafa wants guarantees that he will be supported in the transfer market, both in terms of money available and the freedom to spend it as he sees fit.

A key part of that being able to buy players of any age that fit in with his plan to progress the team/club, with Salomon Rondon a perfect example of why the Spaniard needs that guarantee. The Venezuelan striker having played the final game of his loan spell and still none the wiser as to whether Newcastle will even put a bid in for their player of the season.

The report adds that the NUFC manager only wants to stay if there are assurances that there is a desire, and an intention from the owner, to establish Newcastle United as a top ten Premier League club looking to build season by season, rather than simply trying to exist/survive year to year.

The Telegraph believe that the intention is to announce the new contract/agreement as early as the weekend, if all goes according to plan…

Nothing really new here in terms of the key issues, these past three years have cemented them in the brain. As Rafa Benitez has struggled along from transfer window to transfer window, saying ‘promises’ haven’t been honoured.

No idea how much the newspaper/journalist knows with this one and of course many Newcastle fans will assume that it could simply be a case of them guessing a meeting could be taking place today, on the basis that these 10 days are passing by and nobody has heard of anything happening so far.

However, there is a brutal symbolism to it, if it is true, which may appeal to Mike Ashley’s sense of humour.

Today the summer transfer window opened and whilst all of the other clubs are busy trying to sign players, only now is the Newcastle United owner looking to (supposedly) try and sign the manager onto a new deal. A manager who has been in place for three years and Mike Ashley hadn’t made any attempt to convince previously, as allows the club yet again to drift towards potential disaster.

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