Rafa Benitez is still unsure of where his future lies, and so Sunday’s game against Chelsea could be his last as Newcastle manager, reports the Mirror.
The Spaniard is due to thrash out his future next week, having not yet agreed a new deal, but the coach doesn’t know what will happen.
The 58-year old is believed to want a series of transfer-related guarantees if he is to remain on Tyneside.
Benitez ideally would like to stay at St James’ Park long-term to build a squad capable of challenging for trophies, but Mike Ashley will have to compromise if he does want to keep him.
The former Liverpool boss wants significant assurances that he will have enough money to reinvest in the transfer market next summer, as well as wanting the power to negotiate deals alongside managing director Lee Charnley – without interference from above.
Benitez’ view is that if he wanted to blow his entire budget on just a couple of players, he should have the means and the backing to do so.
This would be the opposite of last summer where a number of deals were blocked or delayed by the club, infuriating the former Real Madrid manager.
As well as demanding the freedom to get deals done, Benitez also wants assurances over a commitment to improving Newcastle’s training ground and academy.
Talking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, Benitez reported there was “nothing new” to share regarding talks over his future, saying;
First, we are still talking. I still have a contract, that is positive. We will wait to see what we get. The question is what we can achieve.
This club has to be in the top 10. How? We have to do a lot of things right and to start making the right decisions now.
In England, you can see that if you have an idea and the idea is right and you have the support, you can carry on improving. You can have a project — a proper project, not just for the Press, a proper project, working every day. We did that at Liverpool in the time I was there.
People say ‘Wheel and deal’ and sometimes you have to do it because, if not, you don’t have any money.