Rafa Benitez thinks he is staying and has identified five signings he wants to make – Report
Whilst Newcastle fans are left wondering exactly what is happening, if anything, at their football club, Rafa Benitez has spent the best part of the last week in his hometown.
The NUFC manager in high demand both before and after his old club Liverpool won the Champions League.
The odd journalist/pundit tried to push the line that there was something wrong with Rafa Benitez being out in Madrid spending so much time talking about Liverpool, rather than focusing solely on helping to sort out what is happening at St James Park.
However, I didn’t see a single Newcastle fan heading down this route, supporters having an overwhelming belief that delays in sorting anything of significance at the club need to be laid at Mike Ashley’s door.
Whilst nothing public from the club/Ashley on either the takeover or the manager’s situation, these past 48 hours have seen a visible escalation from the media as to claims of what is/isn’t happening at Newcastle United.
Amongst the claims/reports was an interesting one from journalist Alan Nixon.
He says that his information is that Rafa Benitez ‘thinks he is staying’ and has been given an idea of a budget.
With according to Nixon, Rafa having asked his scouting team to give him a list of viable targets to fill five positions that he has identified as needing strengthening.
On the surface, this looks very much at odds with a report at the weekend from Peter Smith of ITV News: “Interesting chat with Rafa Benitez. He’s still in the dark about his future at Newcastle and any takeover bid.”
Very difficult as fans to decide what to believe and until anything actually happens and is officially announced, you wouldn’t bet your money on any angle that is put forward by the media.
Some Newcastle fans say everybody should just shut up and wait and see what eventually happens BUT we would then be the very first set of supporters who didn’t endlessly debate each summer what is going to happen at their club, especially in regard to transfers.
Speaking of which, we have now reached the 19th day of the summer transfer window and whilst no need to panic that no signings have been made so far. As fans, you would be concerned if there weren’t any behind the scenes moves going on to prepare the way for new players to be added at some point.
As for sitting back and ‘relaxing’ to just wait and see what happens this summer, little chance of being able to do that whilst Mike Ashley remains.
Amongst all the ‘I don’t believe it’ strokes that he has pulled, you only have to look at the club going 18 months (January 2013 – Summer 2014) without buying a single player, or summer 2012 when Ashley only allowed the signing of Vurnon Anita to build on a breakthrough season of finishing fifth.
For most supporters their football summer kicks off when the first signing is made but as it stands at Newcastle United, it looks very much as though we need some kind of progress/conclusion on the manager and/or ownership position before we can even hope to see any new signings.
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