Newcastle United supporters should be concerned over reports that the club’s board have no plan in place for a new manager if Rafa Benitez leaves this summer.
According to a report from the Northern Echo, Newcastle have not yet formulated a back up plan for an alternative manager should Benitez elect not to sign a new deal to commit himself to St James’ Park this summer.
It is believed that Newcastle’s hierarchy have given Benitez a formal contract offer, and that the club’s board will not re-enter negotiations over the deal proposed to the Spaniard, who is set to be free to walk away from St James’ Park at the end of the month.
Benitez is thought to ideally be wanting to remain at Newcastle next term, but has concerns over the club’s transfer policy, with the Magpies’ believed to have established a budget of around £60million for this summer, but Mike Ashley remains confident that the Spaniard will sign a new contract at some point before the end of the month.
This latest report should be concerning for Newcastle supporters, with Benitez still yet to agree a new deal and only a couple of weeks before he is set to leave the club.
The Magpies have had ample time to come to some sort of internal arrangement over what the plan should be if Benitez elects not to sign the new deal offered to him.
However, it appears that Newcastle’s hierarchy are confident enough that the Spaniard will chose to remain at St James’ Park that they do not need to formulate an alternative option.
That could prove to be a major mistake, were Newcastle’s board to allow themselves to be in a position where at the end of June, Benitez has walked away from the club and the Magpies have no alternative in place.
That would leave them having to start a recruitment process for a new permanent manager with no shortlist of candidates in place, meaning it could take several weeks and eat vital time needed for the club to make transfer deals and prepare for the start of the Premier League season in August.
Newcastle supporters will be hopeful that Benitez elects to eventually sign the new contract offered to him by the club’s hierarchy, but the worrying prospect of the Spaniard leaving and the club having to search for a successor without a clear plan is becoming more likely the longer the situations drags on.