Prior to this January, Newcastle had been waiting for a ridiculous 13 and a half years to break their transfer record. However, after signing Miguel Almiron in the winter window, The Chronicle now claim that Mike Ashley has promised Rafa Benitez a marquee summer signing if the Spaniard puts pen to paper on a new contract at St James Park.
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) March 13, 2019
Whilst to fans other than the Magpies this may seem like brilliant news, the Geordies all know that when it comes to Mike Ashley promises, there are always strings attached. The idea of signing a new marquee player is always going to be a nice one, but the problem comes in the fact that ‘player’ is singular, and they can’t stand the idea of failing to address the problems in their squad and splurging on one big coup.
The Magpies are all desperate for improvements to their club’s training facilities and a number of Premier League calibre players coming in to solve different issues in the squad, and at the moment, it looks like Ashley isn’t offering that. However, there is still a long time between now and the opening of the summer window, and Benitez will be coy in his negotiations with Ashley, which at least gives the fans hope that some good may come of their situation.
With that in mind, here’s what the Geordies made of the initial Ashley promise:
Oh how kind of Ashley.
All hail Mike!!!
— Burnsie #NUFC (@Optimistoon) 13 March 2019
Should push for a 6 month contract with an extension if they provide a quality signing in each window. Would overhaul the squad in about 10 years – that would be progress under MA
— Andrew (12/Mar/08) (@MRAJPalmer) March 13, 2019
With these Ferrero Rocher you are really spoiling us
— AB (@_Sha_Mon_) March 13, 2019
“Another marquee signing like Almiron” Almiron might end up costing 21M. That is not a marquee signing in today’s market, that’s the average going rate. If Rafa was permitted to sign one player in that category, what would the other signings be? 10M, 12M? Not good enough.
— BurstOfTheStar (@BurstOfTheStar) March 13, 2019
“Marquee” signing for #NUFC = squad player for a midtable side in terms of cash outlay (let’s not forget Almiron deal was funded by a bank loan). Rafa should say “thanks, I’ll sign that contract as long as it has a release clause should the owner renegade on that promise (again)”
— Mohsin Khan (@mkhan185) March 13, 2019
That is exactly the narrow minded route I thought they'd take. Are they so stupid in realising that spreading money around different areas of the club will increase its value more than signing a name FFS!
— Lambeth Mag @IfRafaGoesWeGo (@psad2) March 13, 2019
"A" signing to me means 1. The team needs more than that. Not to mention the reworking of the training ground and and the academy
— Mandy (@MrsRogue76) March 13, 2019
More like a gazebo signing if Ashley is behind it
— Rich Wearz (@wearz) March 13, 2019
The Magpies cannot stand the toxic atmosphere at the club under Ashley and will be desperate for Benitez to be able to negotiate a better plan for the summer with the tyrant owner.