As tension builds at Newcastle, does the club risk losing Rafa Benitez?

Rafael Benitez

The long-running tension between Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley, the club’s chairman, shows no sign of abating.

In an interview with The Guardian on Friday, the Magpies boss called out the Englishman for his lack of ambition and expressed his desire to challenge for titles with the club.

“You can bring in another manager and then maybe he will be happy if they finish 15th. But I would like to compete for something more,” Benitez said.

“I want to try to win trophies but you cannot compete in the cups when you’re at the bottom of the table, have a risk of two or three key players getting injured and don’t have the replacements.”

Benitez’s contract expires in the summer and his latest public comments show his deep dissatisfaction with his role at Newcastle.

The Spaniard has shown incredible loyalty at St. James’ Park, sticking with the Magpies in the Championship and returning them to a mid-table position in the Premier League.

But the former Liverpool, Chelsea, Napoli, and Real Madrid manager clearly wants more than that.

It seems as if Benitez will only accept a new contract if Ashley guarantees him a significant summer transfer budget.

The Spaniard’s record and reputation suggests that with the right resources, he has what it takes to steer the club to glory.

However, if Ashley and Newcastle do not back Benitez, they risk losing a superb manager due to a lack of ambition.

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Author: Max Cohen