The Mirror have claimed Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is preparing a £15million, three-year contract in a bid to tempt Rafa Benitez into staying at St. James’ Park.
Benitez is in the final three months of his contract on Tyneside, and there are growing concerns that the former Real Madrid, Liverpool and Inter Milan manager may leave when his deal finishes.
However, Benitez confirmed after Newcastle’s 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Monday night that talks are underway between himself and the board – though they are at an early stage.
It is believed that Benitez wants assurances that Ashley is willing to open the cheque book in this summer’s transfer window. It is believed Benited will also be offered £5million a year (£96,000 a week) until the summer of 2022.
It is a pay rise of £1million a year – with the Express claiming he he earns £4million a year on his current deal.
Benitez is a very wealthy man after managing some of the biggest clubs in Europe. A pay rise of £20,000 a week is hardly going to deter whether he remains in the north east, or not.
Indeed, the Spanish manager needs to know whether Ashley will back him this summer. That is the only thing barring Benitez from signing a new deal.
If Ashley does decide to spend some of his coffers, 2005 Champions League winner Benitez is likely to go after a left-back, central midfielders and perhaps the permanent signing of Salomon Rondon.