OPINION: The current situation between Newcastle United manager Rafa Benítez and current owner Mike Ashley and why it could impact on potential Newcastle United signings this summer

With Newcastle United’s pre-season set to start in just nineteen days they are yet to formally make a bid to sign a new player in this transfer window with the club’s only signings so far being Martin Dúbravka. It looks unlikely that Newcastle will have secured the four or five fresh faces that Rafa Benitez identified in May that he would have liked to have in place come first day of pre-season.  

Mike Ashley officially put the club up for sale in October last year but with his unwillingness to drop his asking price below £400m  means it looks like Newcastle could be stuck with him for the foreseeable future. It could be a long summer for Newcastle United fans and the result of a current stand-off between the manager and owner in terms of a new contract could mean that any potential in comings may lead right up to deadline day.

Rafa Benitez is eager to add to what options he has to ensure that Newcastle are able to compete and try improve on their tenth-place finish last season. With Rafa Benitez set to enter his last year of his control Mike Ashley is eager to ensure he is tied down to a long-term team to potentially make the club more profitable. However Rafa Benitez wants assurances that until a possible sale of the club is completed he wants a good amount of backing to improve the squad and isn’t willing to sign a new deal unless though assurances are guaranteed.

Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley are both currently in positions of power as well as having something to lose, Mike Ashley would be more likely to generate more money from a possible sale with Rafa Benitez in charge but if he doesn’t invest now risks the manager leaving the club when his contract expires next summer, therefore making more difficult to possibly sell the club for a high fee. With the lack of investment already this summer and in previous two windows Rafa Benitez knows full well the club is more sell-able with him at the helm but if he signs a contract without the possible sale of the club taking place it could leave him in a difficult situation being tied down to a long-term contract and have a lack of funding to bring in the signings he wants.

It appears that for the time being it’s a waiting game for most, to see who gives which one, if any happens first in terms of Rafa signing a new deal or Ashley backing Rafa in the transfer market.

Will Rafa Benitez sign a new contract? If he does will he be backed by Mike Ashley? And if both happen, is Mike Ashley’s four hundred million pounds asking price too steep for a possible sale? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us at @AllOutFootball_ with the hashtag #AOF!