Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has been reluctant to sign a new contract at St James’ Park due to clashes over transfer policy with owner Mike Ashley, according to The Mirror.
However, now it seems that the Spaniard will have more demands imposed on him for new players if he does put pen to paper in the coming months.
Reports suggest that wonga-obsessed Ashley wants to force Champions League-winner Benitez to sign young players – who generally have a higher resale value than older players.
This could be another sticking point for ex-Liverpool gaffer Benitez, who sees squad experience as being vital to retaining the Magpies’ Premier League status – especially if he doesn’t have a big budget to work with.
While Newcastle fans are desperate for Benitez to extend his stay beyond his current contract, which runs out this summer, the man himself has long been unhappy about the lack of willing to spend money on new players. Despite guiding the club to promotion from the Championship and protecting their Premier League status last season, he has been given very little money to play with – which is why he has been keen to keep to the route of tried-and-tested players in their late 20s.
It could mean that it will be even more of a struggle to land 29-year-old on-loan forward Salomon Rondon on a permanent deal.
The January signing of 25-year-old Miguel Almiron from MLS side Atlanta United for a club-record fee of £20.5 million may be a sign of the kind of investment Ashley would prefer to see – and the attacking midfielder’s early form means Benitez could be persuaded by the change of tack if he is given sufficient funds.
But the likelihood remains that both Benitez and Ashley will have to compromise on transfers at least a little if they're to retain a working relationship.
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