Benitez Set To Stand His Ground With Ashley

Rafa Benitez got Miguel Almiron at Newcastle eventually but he should wait for further signs of progress under Mike Ashley before committing to a longer-term contract.

Mike Ashley expects Rafa Benitez to sign a new extended Newcastle United contract in the wake of the January transfer window, according to the Daily Mirror.

They report that the two men reached a standoff over the signing of Miguel Almiron; Ashley wanted Benitez to sign a deal before he sanctioned the deal and Benitez wanted a signal that his ambition would be matched with long overdue investment.

Now that Almiron has joined the Magpies, Ashley apparently believes that Benitez should sign on the dotted line, and expects a decision to be made within six weeks.

Benitez’s contact runs out at the end of the season – which is why Ashley has set the deadline – but he should seek further assurances from above before committing himself.

Ashley has underperformed for too long for Benitez to cave in after just one show of ambition from above, and he also holds all the cards with the support of the fans onside.

Benitez does not want to be locked in for another season of struggle by signing himself onto a longer deal simply because Ashley has belatedly invested at an acceptable level for one player – after a month of stand-off.

The situation is not that simple and Benitez has been around long enough to know that.