Rafa Goes Home - Rondon Stays In The Dark

Last updated : 20 May 2019 By Footy Mad - Editor

Rafa Benitez is still in talks over his Newcastle United future – a week after the season ended.

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Benitez, out of contract on June 30, met owner Mike Ashley and managing director in London late last week.

And United's manager and the club's hierarchy are yet to come to an agreement.

Benitez is looking for more investment in his squad and more autonomy in the transfer market.

Ashley, unwilling to put any more of his own money into the club, is adamant any spending – on players, facilities or Academy – must come from Newcastle's profits.

A £100million budget over four transfer windows, which could be supplemented by outgoing sales, has been mooted.

However, Benitez, now back at his family home on Merseyside, wants the freedom to spend his budget as he sees fit.

The 59-year-old was unhappy last summer when the club's hierarchy refused to activate 29-year-old Salomon Rondon's £16.5million release clause at West Bromwich Albion because of his age.

Rondon eventually joined United on loan in a deal which saw Dwight Gayle move to The Hawthorns for the season.

Ashley, up to now, has been keen for the club to sign younger players with a re-sale value.

Benitez, keen for Newcastle to compete for trophies and European football, has put forward his ideas to Ashley, who congratulated the players after their 4-0 season-ending win over Fulham at Craven Cottage eight days ago.

Meanwhile, Rondon – who scored 11 Premier League goals during his loan – is waiting for a decision from Newcastle.

Speaking earlier this month, the Venezuela international made it clear that he would like his future resolved before the Copa America next month.

"I would like that, but it's difficult, because at the moment nobody has signed," said Rondon. "It's maybe a difficult time."

Benitez wants to sign Rondon on a permanent deal, but the club faces competition from Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham.