Rafa Benitez set for more talks over his Newcastle United future

Rafa Benitez is set for a second day of talks over his Newcastle United future.

By Miles Starforth
Friday, 17th May 2019, 7:21 am
Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez, out of contract next month, had discussions in London with the club’s hierarchy yesterday.

United’s manager – who guided his team to a 13th-placed finish in the Premier League – wants to know if he will get the backing he believes he needs to take the club higher up the division next season.

Rafa Benitez.

Benitez wants more investment in the squad – and, importantly, more autonomy in the transfer market.

Owner Mike Ashley, however, is adamant that any spending must come out of the club’s profits – and a £100million budget over the next four transfer windows has been mooted.

Ashley thanked Benitez and his players for their efforts after Sunday’s 4-0 win over Fulham.

“He came to say thank you very much to all the players and everyone in the dressing room,” said Benitez. “We will have a meeting, hopefully this week, and we’ll see where we are.”

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley.

Benitez wants to unlock Newcastle’s “potential”.

“I can see the potential of this massive club, and hopefully we can do things in a way that will be good for everyone to move forward, maybe together” said the 59-year-old at Craven Cottage.

Lee Charnley, Newcastle’s managing director, addressed Benitez’s future last month in a statement issued with the club’s last set of accounts.

“We don’t want to comment on speculation about the manager’s future,” said Charnley. “We would prefer for conversations between Rafa and the club to remain between us.

“We will communicate with supporters as soon as there is a formal update.”

On the club’s transfer spending, Charnley added: “Our budget to strengthen the team has been circa £122million over the last two seasons, which was an initial agreed budget of £70million plus an additional £52million generated as a result of sales and outgoing loans.

“We have spent just over 90% of that, and the balance of £11million will be carried forward to supplement what we have for forthcoming transfer windows.”