Newcastle United next manager: Mike Ashley's concern revealed as Roberto Martinez remains favourite
That’s the verdict of former England full-back Danny Mills, who believes the Sports Direct Tycoon will focus on nothing more than retaining the club’s top flight status when he elects who to appoint as Rafa Benitez’s replacement.
Benitez’s contract is set to expire at midnight tonight (June 30) after the club claimed it ‘would not be possible’ to reach an agreement to extend the popular manager’s stint on Tyneside.
Roberto Martinez, Claudio Ranieri and Mikel Arteta remain the favourites with the bookmakers, with reports suggesting that the club are keen to make an appointment before the Premier League Asia Trophy in mid-July.
But Mills feels Ashley’s only concern will be securing a manager who will guarantee the club’s survival in the Premier League – especially as takeover talks continue with the Bin Zayed Group and other interested parties.
“As we’ve seen from the past, sometimes Mike Ashley just makes the decision and that’s it, done and dusted,” Mills told Football Insider.
“Mike Ashley will appoint the manager that he thinks is right to keep them in the Premier League next season.
“That’s all he looks at, surviving in the Premier League. That makes it attractive if it’s going to be sold and at the right price.
“That will be his only concern.”