Newcastle United involved manager Rafael Benitez in the decision making for their pre-season tournament in China but they could change if the Magpies fail to remain in the Premier League, according to the Chronicle.
The newspaper claim on their website that the Spanish boss, who has spoken out against long distance preparations in the past, was included as the club planned their participation in the Premier League Asia Cup in China this summer, as confirmed by the Magpies’ official Twitter account and website.
It is stated that Benitez is not entirely against the decision despite his preconceptions of overseas games in the off-season, but that things could change significantly if Newcastle were to be relegated, with a reserve team ready to take their place in the competition which also features Manchester City, Wolves and West Ham.
It might seem like nothing but it could be quite significant that Newcastle are involving Benitez in crucial decisions over the near future of the football club. With a contract that expires this summer, it would be quite easy for the Magpies to play the power card and leave him out of any plans until he commits to a future at St James’ Park. However it seems as though they are wanting to make sure he feels included and part of what comes next for Newcastle – which will hopefully, for the Toon Army, convince the Spaniard to put pen to paper. He might not be best pleased about the prospect of playing in China but at the same time he can surely realise the financial and business value of the official Premier League competition, which will no doubt raise the club’s profile in Asia as well as bringing in some funds to invest both on and off the pitch.