Rafa Benitez could be on the verge of leaving St James’ Park after Mike Ashley walked away from takeover talks with Amanda Staveley’s Middle East investment fund.
That’s according to club legend David Ginola.
Ashley sensationally pulled the plug on takeover talks last night, claiming attempts to strike a deal with Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners had been “exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time”.
The dramatic development places a huge question mark over Benitez’ long-term future.
And David Ginola – who played for the Magpies in Kevin Keegan’s legendary “entertainers” side – is doubtful the Spaniard’s patience will last much longer.
While Rafa had resigned himself to minimal funds this month, he had pinned his faith on a successful takeover to land high-profile summer targets.
Ginola, speaking on Talksport’s Sports Breakfast show, said: “Do I think that Rafa is going to stick with Newcastle United for another two or three years? I have a very big doubt.
“I think he wants to see a club that will secure the future in terms of investment and how he’s going to invest in players.”
Asked if Benitez, 57, will stay or walk, Ginola added: “I think he’ll wait for a few weeks before he makes a decision.
“First of all, he’s going to compete and fight against relegation this year but I think his main concern is ‘am I going to stay at Newcastle United to avoid relegation every year or play in the Championship again?’
“I don’t think so.
“Rafa is going to have plenty of propositions on the table.
“He’s going to be a manager on the market and, as soon as he is, other clubs will be after him.”