Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has hinted that he may leave the club before the end of the season, and as early as the end of the week, should the lack of progress on a transfer front continue.
For the first time Benitez refused to guarantee he will be at the club by the end of the season. When asked if he could say that he would be at the club at the end of the season, Benitez replied: “No, I cannot guarantee anything”.
Benitez’s Newcastle Love Affair Over?
The Spaniard’s contract with Newcastle ends this summer, but from now Benitez can walk away for nothing, after a penalty clause that would have seen him have to pay £6m now invalid.
Benitez’s relationship with club owner Mike Ashley has worth thinner over time, and it appears now that the manager has lost patience. Benitez was offered the chance to extend his contract, but has so far refused all attempts at negotiation until he had seen a commitment from the club to sign players in the January transfer window.
Newcastle are yet to sign a player in this window, although a loan deal for Jordan Lukaku was on the table before falling through. It is believed that the player failed a medical.
Not Involved in Signings
Speaking in a pre-match press conference ahead of hosting Manchester City, Benitez shared that he isn’t involved in the signing of new players, bar providing a couple of names.
“The way things are going on here, I can say yes or not to the proposals that I receive. I can give some names but I don’t do any negotiations, anything. In the end I can say yes or not so you give me this or that I can choose one or the other one. That’s it. I can say yes if we need that.”
Benitez Could Quit This Week
More worrying for Newcastle fans though was the apparent ultimatum set by Benitez. He was asked whether he would quit as Newcastle manager if no new players arrived, he replied: “We will wait until Thursday and see what happens.”