Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez’s contract is due to expire at the end of this month, the same time the Bin Zayed Group have said they expect their takeover of the club to be finalised.
According to the Times, the Spaniard has an offer on the table to double his £6 million-per-year contract from Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang. The outlet also suggests Rafa has been offered a one-year extension to remain at St James’ Park but is reluctant to sign it until assurances are made over available funds to spend this summer.
Speculation has been mounting on whether or not Benitez stays or leaves the club, as yet there has been no clear indication either way. The 59-year-old has also been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge. He took charge of the London club in November 2012 on a short-term contract until the end of the season following the dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo, and according to the Guardian, the Blues are considering offering Benitez a contract following Maurizio Sarri’s departure. However, he wasn’t welcomed by the fans then and not much has to sway their opinions.
A lot does depend on the situation with Derby County and their manager Frank Lampard, the former player is the fans choice to be in the Stamford Bridge dugout, but he could decline the offer and remain loyal to the Rams. Waiting in the wings somewhere is one Jose Mourinho. Recently, the Mirror reported the Portuguese is ready to hold talks with the new Newcastle owners about taking charge at St James’ Park.
Benitez is adored by the Toon Army and could be the better option of the two if the takeover goes through, despite Mourinho being the higher profile name. The former Manchester United boss has more experience with spending money at big clubs, and despite Rafa having been the manager at Inter Milan and Real Madrid he did so when both clubs refused to back him as they did ‘The Special One.’ So it would be nice to see what Rafa could achieve with money to spend. And in their head-to-head battles, Benitez is now only three wins behind.
After super-rich oil billionaires take over a football club one of their first demands is for a global superstar to be signed. Manchester City went all out to sign Robinho and Paris St Germain’s owners went for fellow Brazilian Neymar.
As Newcastle prepare for their third straight season in the Premier League, Benitez should be kept on after the takeover. He has kept the Magpies in the division with a Championship-level squad. With the uncertainty at the club, the last thing Newcastle will need is Mourinho and his circus disrupting the place.