Mike Ashley offer to Rafa Benitez is ‘non-negotiable’ with 10 days to go – Report
It is now exactly five weeks since Benitez met Ashley in London to discuss a new contract.
Some Newcastle fans had hoped/assumed that surely this time it would be a quick shake of hands and a new contract agreed.
That meeting surely having been arranged after lengthy behind the scenes talks between representatives had produced agreement.
Now 35 days on we only know one thing, there is no contract extension in place and we are 10 days away from the manager’s current deal ending.
Rafa Benitez had made clear any number of times that two basic things needed to change.
He needed a realistic budget to work with this summer and beyond, with also the freedom to do with that budget as he saw fit.
Clearly, Mike Ashley didn’t come close to those needs/demands from the manager and now we are in no-man’s land, just like every other important issue at the club.
Recent days have seen various reports detailing that Rafa Benitez had/has been offered a short-term extension rather than a longer-term deal. A credible update from The Times, backed up by George Caulkin, stating that Rafa had been offered a £12m deal to manage in China, with his position at Newcastle in so much doubt.
That line has been carried on this morning, with The Sun also reporting that it is a short-term extension that Mike Ashley has offered and that the owner has made clear this is non-negotiable.
This matching up with repeated reports saying that it was a ‘take it or leave’ it offer from the NUFC owner, with clearly Rafa choosing to leave it so far.
This morning’s report also states that rather than increase his freedom to operate in the transfer market, the offer on the table actually reduces Benitez’ power when it comes to wheeling and dealing in the transfer market.
What a mess.
Two weeks to go until pre-season starts and three weeks before the squad fly off to China.
No manager sorted, no players signed and Mike Ashley still here.
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