There have been several reports of Rafa Benitez making plans to leave NUFC at the end of this season, with more reports of contact from China and Italy.
I am still shocked he is at Newcastle still, especially when he has the same sized transfer budget as he did at Liverpool years ago, how crazy is that! So it will be no surprise to me should he leave, and I wouldn’t blame him either because there comes a time when his patience will be lost.
Chelsea have done NUFC fans a massive favour by loaning Kenedy, but Conte will be loathed to sell him at the end of the season so we’ll be back to square one then. It remains to be seen whether we can attract more players, but should we not I fully expect Rafa to walk.
I say NUFC takeover progress, I really mean lack of progress in the Amanda Staveley led (allegedly) takeover. Of course you wouldn’t think that should you read the Evening Chronicle, who have given us an update every single day which could be summed up with “nothing new here”.
A takeover progresses slowly because of due diligence apparently, and the value fluctuates throughout a season because of relegation fears, but surely by now we should have received some update on it. It feels like this is all a big con, that she really isn’t interested and Mike Ashley is happy we aren’t attacking him in the media for once.
Whatever happens we can rest assured the Evening Chronicle will still be milking this until 2020.
If true it’s an exciting prospect should the buyer be both rich and willing to plough money into the club, however, could we end up with another Mike Ashley?
It’s no secret Mike Ashley is out of his depth, when he bought the club he most probably genuinely believed he could compete, but within a few month the owners of Man City changed the landscape forever. Back in 2007/08 the biggest transfer fee in the Premier League was £16.5m for Darren Bent, but average was around £8m which he could have easily coped with, then came the Robinho and Berbatov transfers both in excess of £30m.
My point is the landscape is changing rapidly, and we may not attract someone who we actually want at the helm of the club, just think Venkys at Blackburn. They could come here with a personal fortune of £5bn, but will that be enough in 2018 to launch a bid for Champions League football? Bearing in mind the club needs over £200m invested to catch up to teams coasting in the league.
NUFC is an attractive business, it has a massive following with a fantastic stadium, and the potential to grow is huge because we have one of the best managers in the world. Now imagine we get a faceless group who purchase the club, with the sole intention of making money because that is what they do, we could end up with an even worse scenario than we did before.
At present it is a worrying time for NUFC fans, we seem to have handed the Championship title to Brighton and allowed Huddersfield the chance to push for 2nd place. It’s a nervy finish to what has been a season of frustration, both on and off the pitch, which is exactly what we don’t need.
Looking at the stats for 2017, NUFC have played 18 games but only won 9 of them, in total dropping 21 points from those games. For a team fighting to get into the Premiership that is an awful statistic, if we can’t beat times down here then how on earth can we compete should we win promotion.
It makes me wonder whether Rafa Benitez has lost interest in Newcastle, and his head has been turned by another club, bearing in mind he has been stripped of full control in the transfer market. This could explain the dramatic drop in form, and our inability to beat teams who are hoping to be mid table at most.
I worry that Rafa knew what was coming in the January transfer window, and has decided it is game over at the end of the season, why would such a top manager be treated so poorly.
Rumours are abound that NUFC will make a £5m move for Hull City player Robert Snodgrass, with sources close to the player saying he is very interested in making the switch to Newcastle. Steve Bruce is desperate to add him to the Villa squad, but the lure of St James may be too much for him to turn down.
Snodgrass played a vital part in Hull City getting promoted, something which interests Rafa Benitez.
It remains to be seen whether a deal will be done, but this is a rumour that could very well be confirmed within the next couple of weeks.