Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'My Relationship with the Owners Isn't as Bad as People Maybe Think' RAFA ON DEALINGS WITH TOON HIERARCHY

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'My Relationship with the Owners Isn't as Bad as People Maybe Think' RAFA ON DEALINGS WITH TOON HIERARCHY

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS WAUGH NUFC Writer chris.waugh@trinitymirror.com @CHRISDHWAUGH

RAFA Benitez has suggested his relationship with Mike Ashley is not as strained as is sometimes portrayed - but insists he will keep "fighting for the best" for Newcastle United.

The Spaniard's representatives have been locked in contract talks with Magpies managing director Lee Charnley for more than a month, with Benitez set to run into the final year of his current deal.

West Ham United had targeted Benitez this summer but have since appointed Manuel Pellegrini as their next manager - although Napoli, Leicester City and Everton are still taking a keen interest in the 58-yearold's position at St James' Park.

Positive soundings emerged from Newcastle on Monday which suggested Benitez will remain in situ into the 2018/19 campaign, but as of yet no contract extension has been agreed.

His potential transfer budget is only one of many very important elements Benitez wants confirmed. The Spaniard also wants to know - among many other things - that he can improve Newcastle's training ground, radically overhaul the Academy and Under-23 set up, continue to upgrade and bolster his scouting team, and streamline United's approach to completing signings.

But it is not just substantive improvements Benitez wants to see off the pitch; he also needs to know that attitudes at the club will change - and that Newcastle match his own ambitions.

Fighting against relegation, and even scrambling around in midtable mediocrity, does not interest Benitez. He wants to know he will be afforded the backing to compete for European qualification, as well as challenge for trophies.

Since the end of the campaign, however, Benitez and Ashley have yet to speak directly - although the Sports Direct magnate did release a statement stating he hoped the Newcastle manager "stays" - and there are now serious trust issues between the Spaniard and the owner following three disappointing transfer windows in succession. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.