Rafa Benitez frustrated at impasse in transfer talks at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez is involved in a standoff with Newcastle United's hierarchy over a new contract and the club's transfer business.

Monday, 4th June 2018, 6:00 am
Rafa Benitez

Benitez’s representatives have been involved in protracted talks over a range of issues.

Owner Mike Ashley wants Benitez – who has a year left on his contract at St James’s Park – to sign a new deal.

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United’s manager, however, will not commit his longer-term future to the club before agreeing a funding plan.

Benitez wants a competitive transfer budget and the freedom to spend it as he sees fit.

He is understood to be “frustrated” at the slow progress in the talks, which started before the season ended.

Benitez was involved in a similar standoff with the club’s hierarchy during January’s transfer window.

The 58-year-old was sounded out about a new deal as he pressed the club for reinforcements. Eventually, United signed three players – Kenedy, Martin Dubravka and Islam Slimani – on loan in the latter part of the window.

Kenedy and Martin Dubravka was pivotal figures in the second half of the season as the club climbed the table.

Dubravka has since signed a four-year deal at the club after joining from Sparta Prague, and Benitez would like to re-sign Kenedy from Chelsea, either on loan or on a permanent deal.

However, the impasse in talks between Benitez and Newcastle is threatening to delay the club’s summer transfer business.

Ashley – who put Newcastle up for sale late last year - has pledged to back Benitez with “every penny generated by the club”.

The billionaire wants transfer investment to come from the profits at United, which banked just over £123million from the Premier League in 2017-18.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have been linked with a £13million bid for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

However, the 25-year-old is not understood to be a summer target for Benitez, who is looking to strengthen a number of positions.