Newcastle give update on Rafa Benitez's future and summer transfer plans

Newcastle United have given an update on Rafa Benitez's future ahead of the summer transfer window.
Rafa BenitezRafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

The club today published the minutes of last week's Fans Forum.

United representatives, including managing director Lee Charnley, were asked if progress had been made on a new deal for Benitez, who has a year left on his contract.

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The club "stated that the manager has a year remaining on his contract. As the manager has publicly stated, discussions to extend his contract are ongoing."

Another panel member asked if "the club was willing to back the manager in the transfer market?".

The club "stressed that its conversations with the manager are ongoing and include discussions around the transfer pot available".

Asked about competing with clubs of similar stature in the transfer market, the club "stated that relegation to the Championship had undoubtedly given clubs that had remained in the Premier League an advantage financially".

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The minutes read: "The club also discussed, in addition to transfer fees, that there are often significant costs such as its wage bill and agents fees that are not factored in or referred to.

"The club also noted that figures attributed to transfer fees in the public domain were often inaccurate.

"During the 2016-17 season, the club took a considerable gamble to invest significantly in the team in order to gain immediate promotion.

"By way of example, the club committed heavily to its wage bill, which was well beyond not only its competitors in the Championship, but also many clubs in the Premier League.

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"The club strengthened in summer 2017 and also made offers to buy players in January prior to acquiring players on loan."

Asked if the club was still for sale, a representative said that Mike Ashley's position had "not changed".