Mike Ashley reveals his Newcastle United summer 'priority'
Mike Ashley's sole priority this summer is to tie Rafa Benitez to a new contract rather than eye alternatives - according to reports from France.
Le10 Sport claim that the Newcastle United hierarchy are focusing purely on handing Benitez a new contract - despite rumours linking them with a swoop for other managers.
It had been reported that the Magpies were eyeing up Lyon manager Bruno Genesio as a potential replacement for the Spaniard should he fail to agree a new contract, but these fresh reports claim that the link between the two is 'completely inaccurate'.
Indeed, they go on to suggest that Newcastle and Ashley have made it their 'priority' to tie Benitez down to a new deal and will not be focusing on other managers.
Celtic were one of the clubs linked with a swoop for the Newcastle manager in the summer dependent on his contract situation, but former Hoops winger Davie Provan believes that the Scottish giants would require drastic measures to bring him to Parkhead.
“Frankly, Peter Lawwell (chief executive) would need chloroform to get Rafa to Glasgow," he said to the Scottish Sun.
“I’d give my right arm to see the Spaniard succeed Brendan Rodgers. No disrespect to Neil Lennon, but Benitez is in a different bracket.
“A Rafa appointment would be like throwing a fox into a hen hut.
“Benitez doesn’t defer to directors, he makes his demands and expects them to be met.”