According to reports in The Sun, Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez could quit if he isn’t handed £100m to spend by the club after securing promotion back to the Premier League on Monday night.
Well, after leading the Magpies back to the top flight at the first time of asking, the Spaniard is set to demand a huge transfer war chest to ensure the club don’t face another battle against relegation next term.
Even though he spent more than £50m last summer – with the majority of that money coming from the sales of Moussa Sissoko, Andros Townsend and Georginio Wijnaldum – Benitez’s relationship with owner Mike Ashley was said to have come under strain during the January transfer window as the club failed to bring in any of his targets.
The former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss wanted full control of recruitment when he signed a new three-year deal to stay at St James’ Park last summer.
While Ashley gave him his word on that at the time, Benitez is worried there is a chance he could lose it with chief scout Graham Carr back involved with the club.
It’s difficult to say but there is no doubt that the squad needs a lot of strengthening if they are to compete.
Benitez will probably look to bring in around five or six players that will be starters next season to boost the likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle who are likely to be considered good enough to be Premier League regulars.
The whole situation has certainly taken a new twist on Wednesday with the news that managing director Lee Charnley has been arrested after the HMRC raided St James’ Park as part of a tax fraud investigation into the club’s transfer dealings.
Whether this will have an effect on their budget and business this summer remains to be seen but one thing is certainly clear – Newcastle United need Rafa Benitez more than he needs the Magpies.