Opinion: Ashley’s short-sighted ploy to keep Benitez is way off the mark

Mike Ashley is reportedly set to make a marquee signing this summer in an attempt to convince Rafael Benitez to stay at Newcastle, but will it be enough?

What’s the story?

According to Chronicle Live, Benitez has been told he will be allowed a “marquee signing” this summer if he agrees to a new contract with the club.

The Spaniard’s current deal runs out at the end of this season, and there are still no concrete signs of a new deal.

According to the aforementioned report though, the gaffer does want to sit down for “structured contract talks”, so that is of course a good sign for the Toon Army.

However, if Ashley thinks one big signing is enough to convince a manager of Benitez’s level that he should stay, then the infamous Magpies owner is sorely mistaken.

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Simply not enough

Newcastle captured Miguel Almiron for a club-record £20m fee in January, and the Paraguayan international’s arrival has given the entire club a huge boost.

Placating the manager with the occasional great signing is simply not enough though, because Benitez has much loftier ambitions for the club, which is of course one of the big reasons fans adore him so much.

The boss has been extremely open about his desire to improve the club’s academy and training ground, as reported by Chronicle Live.

Benitez wants “clarity on the size of his budget and how it can be spent, the club’s medium and long-term ambition, capacity to improve the training ground and also Academy upgrades,” per the above report.

Ashley deserves credit for taking the leap of faith and capturing Almiron in January, but the 54 year-old is being foolishly short-sighted if he thinks he can commit one of the world’s top tacticians with a couple of quick additions.