Newcastle United supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team open up an seven-point gap to the Premier League’s bottom three courtesy of a 1-0 success over Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their meeting with their fellow relegation candidates having lost just one of their previous six league matches, and as such sitting pretty in 13th place in the table. And the Magpies took another huge step towards preserving their Premier League status on Saturday as an Ayoze Perez effort ten minutes from the end clinched the win for the North East giants, thus moving them a healthy seven points clear of the bottom three with just seven games of the campaign remaining.
Thus, there have been many buoyant Newcastle supporters in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are sincerely hoping that their recent run of form will be enough to secure their place in the Premier League next season.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Magpies fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking manager Benitez with La Liga outfit Real Sociedad.
And while there will be obvious anxieties among those Newcastle fans lining up at the bar, these recent reports may actually turn out to be good news for the North East club, as it may give the Spaniard greater power when it comes to negotiating with owner Mike Ashley over his future and indeed summer signings.
Ultimately, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss has been left frustrated by the club’s transfer policy since taking over two years ago, to the point that he was only able to land three loan signings during the January transfer window despite it being clear that additions were needed to avoid the drop.
And while reports have arisen in recent times that Benitez is planning for the long-term at Newcastle, he has put any contract talks on hold until the summer, and with his current deal set to expire in 2019, Magpies fans may well be concerned by recent reports linking Real Sociedad with his services.
Thus, it gives Benitez some power regarding negotiations with Ashley – get what he wants financially in the transfer window, and he’ll stay, fail to do so, and Real Sociedad are ready to pounce.
And with other clubs, even some in England, likely to be on the lookout for managers come the summer, Real Sociedad are unlikely to be the only club keeping tabs on Benitez, so it is imperative that the Newcastle hierarchy match his ambition in the summer to keep him at St James’ Park.
As such, one would assume that, if Benitez is indeed in charge for their first game of the 2018/19 campaign, then that drive has indeed been seconded by the Magpies’ board, which means that some good news may actually come out of the recent reports linking the Spaniard away from the North East.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!