Almost every Newcastle fan is hoping that Rafa Benitez will pledge his future to the club soon, but much will depend on money — but not the amount they are willing to pay the Spaniard, but how much he will be able to spend.
In a saga that seems to have gone on as long as the Brexit negotiations, fans are still largely in the dark about the outcome.
In fact, it would be hard to say what will happen first — A Brexit deal, or a Rafa one!
Benitez has always insisted that wages are not his priority or motivation, and it is, and has always been, about being given the chance to take his Newcastle United vision forward, and having the backing to do so.
A report in the Daily Mirror claims that Benitez will be offered a new three-year deal worth £5 million a year, but that figure is largely irrelevant in his musings over a new deal.
As is always the case with Benitez, it is about football. His one concern is that the club are not prepared to turn the page on annual relegation battles, and start to look ahead with a little more ambition.
He is the one person in a management or boardroom role that actually gets it. He understands supporters’ frustrations. He knows what they want. He also, crucially, know how to deliver it.
Most owners of football clubs, whether actively trying to sell their business or maintain it, would want to share that ambition, and see their investment appreciate in value as they improve.
Why Mike Ashley never seems to see that, is a question only he can answer, but unfortunately, he rarely does interviews, and when he does, they are carefully stage-managed affairs with his preferred media partner.
While salary will always be considered, the club could offer Benitez £20m a year, and without the assurances of a competitive budget to improve the squad, he still would not sign — and good for him.
It was suggested, by a certain radio pundit with an axe to grind over Rafa — who we shall not give unwarranted exposure to by naming him — that he has enough money that he should spend some of his own cash to buy players (I know… ludicrous, right?).
Well, if Ashley offers him a contract of £105m a year, then he might well be able to do that!
Newcastle should never have let it get to this stage, that much we already know, but they have, and it is now time to stop bluffing, and go all-in with Rafa.
Give the man the money to bring success to Tyneside — and by success, we don’t mean winning trophies left, right and centre, we just mean giving the Geordie fans a team to be proud to support.
Once they can go to games to watch and actually enjoy them, instead of every week, wondering if it is going to be another defeat, and potentially, another nail hammered into their Premier League coffin.
What do you think of the Rafa Benitez contract situation? Will he get the tools he needs to take the club onto the next rung of the ladder? Let us know your thoughts…
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