Mike Ashley Set to Clash With Rafa Benitez Over Demands for Newcastle Future


A report has emerged which suggests the offer that Mike Ashley will make to Rafa Benitez as he attempts to persuade the Spaniard to remain in charge of the club past the end of this season.

Benitez and Ashley have regularly clashed in recent seasons about the owner's perceived lack of investment in the club and, as it stands, is set to leave the club at the end of the season. However, Ashley is keen to keep Benitez for the foreseeable future as he looks to sell the club.

​The Newcastle Chronicle state that Benitez will host a meeting with his recruitment team following the side's match with ​Leicester City, during which they will discuss the club's transfer window strategy and the long-term development of the club.

The report says: "It is believed that Benitez’s concerns about a new deal are not salary-based and his requests were more based around improving the training ground, Academy and Under-23 set-up.

"However, it is believed that ​Newcastle are reluctant to sanction those requests and are concerned that investing too heavily in the youth team is risky as there are no guaranteed results of unearthing homegrown talent.

"Newcastle will offer Benitez limited funds for transfers in January again but the club do not feel they are in a position to sanction training ground improvements at this stage."

Should this report turn out to be true, it will come as a huge blow to fans of the club, who have made no secret of their desire to see Ashley invest more money in the squad. The team made a £21m profit from the summer transfer window, yet that money was not reinvested in the playing staff.

If the club cannot guarantee Benitez further investment in the development of the club, it seems likely that Benitez will opt not to renew his current contract and walk away from the team this summer.