Sport Soccer

Thursday 19 April 2018

Benitez could quit Newcastle over Ashley concerns

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

Luke Edwards

Rafael Benitez's future at Newcastle United is in jeopardy over concerns that the promises made to him by owner Mike Ashley are not going to be kept.

Benitez will not walk out in the middle of the season, but will reassess his position in the summer and could quit if he does not receive assurances from Ashley over the extent of the club's ambition.

The Spaniard, who has not spoken directly to Ashley for months, was alarmed by Newcastle's failure to sign anyone in the January transfer window, even though he agreed a list of targets with MD Lee Charnley and believed there was money to spend.

Benitez was given full control of the football side when he agreed to stay on as manager following relegation from the Premier League last year, but is worried that may no longer be the case because his demands were ignored in January. If he is not given the financial backing he expects should he return Newcastle to the top flight in May, the former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid manager will question whether it is worth staying.

Tensions have been inflamed behind the scenes, where there is a power struggle between Benitez and others loyal to Ashley, over the fact the manager understood he would be allowed to reinvest the £30 million the club received from Tottenham for Moussa Sissoko. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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