Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United have enjoyed an excellent season as the North East club finished 10th in their return to the Premier League.
The Spaniard earned a lot of praise from fans and former players for guiding the Magpies to a mid-table finish while working with a limited budget typical of the Mike Ashley era.
Iconic striker, Les Ferdinand, recently applauded Benitez for the “unbelievable job” he has done at St. James Park but all this hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed by rival clubs.
Reportedly Premier league sides Arsenal and West Ham are both keen to speak to the Champions League winner. Although it is understood that the Newcastle manager would prefer to stay in the North East.
“My priority is to stay in England. I’m only talking to Newcastle right now.”
“The main thing is to be sure we share the same ambition. I want to win games and I want to win trophies and I want to have the tools to be capable of competing…Newcastle is a massive football club and we want it to reach its potential.”
Newcastle fans are terrified that Ashley won’t be able to match Benitez’s ambition and have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations. Here is a selection of what’s being said:
Glad someone is prepared to stand up to Ashley. It may be painful, in the short to medium term it may devastate the club but years from now Ashley may wake up and realise he should have ceded to Benitez.
— Sharpie 🇪🇺 (@MonsieurSharp) May 18, 2018
I’m not as worried for Rafa leaving for West Ham anymore, as I am angry with the #NUFC board having this even remotely being an issue.
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) May 18, 2018
Why is the Rafa issue being allowed to drag on and on and on…..
Apart from weasel words yet again from the owner, who says one thing and does another thing.
I don’t want Rafa to go but I certainly wouldn’t blame him if he did, this situation is ridiculous and disingenuous
— Lucy (@dunelmcuths) May 18, 2018
If it’s true that Ashley hasn’t even met Benitez face to face about his contract negotiations then the club don’t deserve to keep him #NUFC
— Lawrence Hunt (@huntmj28) May 18, 2018
I am totally bricking it that Benitez is off to West Ham. He singlehandedly rekindled my love for #nufc after years of Ashley bullshit and constant disappointment. I love that squad right now and it’s all down to one man.
— Steve Lowson (@Greenroomboy) May 17, 2018
Newcastle fans in 2016: "Really hope Benitez stays this summer."
Newcastle fans in 2017: "Really hope Benitez stays this summer."
Newcastle fans in 2018: "Really hope Benitez stays this summer."
Mike Ashley in 2018: "I don't know why I'm portrayed as a pantomime villain…"
— Aaron Stokes (@AaronJStokes) May 17, 2018