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Mike Ashley makes final take it or leave it offer to Rafa Benitez (again) – Report

1 year ago
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Thursday has brought news that Mike Ashley has made a final take it or leave it offer to Rafa Benitez.

The Newcastle United owner and manager meeting 21 days ago at that much publicised post-season meeting in London.

No public update form either side since, although of course these final 11 days have had the very substantial main story of a potential NUFC takeover becoming  the main debate/speculation.

However, despite that, The Northern Echo are stating (see below) today that ‘Newcastle United’s current owners will not be conducting fresh contract talks with Rafael Benitez, and are adamant their final offer is already on the table.’

With the first face to face talks between Rafa and Ashley not taking place until 16 May, Newcastle fans had hoped that work had gone on behind the scenes and it would be simply a formality to announce a new deal after that meeting.

Then obviously we have had the takeover story swamping everything.

Today’s Mike Ashley making final take it or leave it offer to Rafa Benitez story does look a little familiar though, as earlier this week we commented on this one…

The Chronicle report – Monday 3 June 2019:

‘Talks between Newcastle and Benitez are now believed to be concluded and it is now down to the former Liverpool boss to decide whether he can work with the terms offered.

It is understood that United are now waiting for Benitez to get back to him with a final answer.’

In essence, I think that in reality we have a club in deadlock, with nothing going to happen until the ownership issue is sorted, one way or another.

Whilst none of us can safely guess at exactly which point the potential NUFC takeover is at, it appears clear that Mike Ashley and his people have been in discussions for some time with the Binn Zayed Group. Whether that turns into a long awaited sale of the club remains to be seen but there is growing hope amongst Newcastle fans that this could be the time.

It is difficult/impossible to see a definitive decision made on contracting Rafa Benitez (or anybody else) for next season, or indeed making any player signings of note.

Maybe Mike Ashley did make clear at that 16 May 2019 meeting exactly what Rafa could expect if the owner was still in control next season and maybe it could have been termed a ‘final take it or leave it’ offer…but for my money, any Mike Ashley offer would come nowhere near meeting Benitez’ needs/wants and ambitions.

Only new owners will deliver a new agreed contract for this manager.

Northern Echo report – Thursday 6 June 2019:

‘Newcastle United’s current owners will not be conducting fresh contract talks with Rafael Benitez, and are adamant their final offer is already on the table.

Benitez’s current contract is due to expire on June 30, which means he has just over three weeks in which to decide whether to accept the terms that have been submitted via his representatives.

Having met Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley in London last month, Benitez and his negotiating team have been in contact with the Newcastle hierarchy via telephone and Email in the last few weeks.

That has resulted in a formal contract offer, which Benitez is currently understood to be considering.’

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