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According to The Sun, Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez paid a surprise visit to the club’s managing director Lee Charnley at the Benton headquarters this week, and was keen to know how far takeover talks have gone.
The contract of the Spaniard expires at the end of the month, and while he has since been offered an extension, he wants to know what the plans of the new owners are for him before making a decision.
Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan and current owner Mike Ashley are in talks regarding a possible £350 million takeover, but Benitez is yet to be contacted by the representatives of the Dubai-based billionaire.
Ideally, the Newcastle boss wants to know what a possible takeover would mean for him, and it remains to be seen if he will still be in charge when the players return for pre-season training on July 4.
Given the uncertainty over Benitez’s future at Saint James’ Park and the August 8 transfer deadline in view, the club’s summer transfer plans – both incomings and outgoings – are being delayed.
The club board fears he could run down his contract and leave them needing another manager all of a sudden, and new Under-23s boss Neil Redfearn may have to take temporary charge if that happens.
Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has already been linked with the Newcastle job, and with the potential new owners yet to speak with Benitez, it remains to be seen if he is in their plans should the takeover go through.