Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley is worried sick that manager Rafael Benitez will walk away when his contract expires this summer, according to The Sun.
The newspaper claims that there are growing concerns at St James’ Park that the Spaniard will decline the contract on offer from the Magpies.
That would see him leave for nothing when his current deal comes to an end at the conclusion of this month, with Charnley having approached no other managers to potentially take his place.
The two men chatted briefly at the club’s Benton training ground on Monday, but the former Liverpool boss has given no indication that he is going to sign the contract that has been on his desk for weeks now.
It shouldn’t come as news to anyone – least of all Charnley – that this could happen this summer. Benitez has always wanted suitable assurances over recruitment, development of the academy and training ground etc., but if he hasn’t received that from Charnley or owner Mike Ashley since the end of the season then he’s got every right to leave the club in the lurch. It would be a shame and the supporters would be gutted, but Benitez can do what he wants at the end of the day. He’s under no obligation to stay at Newcastle if it’s a bit situation and he clearly has some concerns – that’s why he hasn’t signed the contract that has been in his possession for several weeks now. With that much of a delay it’s no surprise that they are growing concerned on Tyneside that Benitez could elect simply to walk away. We’re all hoping that that’s not the case, but who knows what he’ll decide to do?