Will Rafa Benitez stay at Newcastle? Sunday Supplement panel debate
Last Updated: 30/04/17 11:40am
The Sunday Supplement panel debated whether Rafa Benitez will stay on as Newcastle manager next season, with The Mail on Sunday's Rob Draper saying he is "not convinced".
Benitez has led the Magpies back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and they could still win the Championship title on the final day of the season.
However, it has been reported that Benitez plans to hold talks with the club's owner Mike Ashley to discuss transfer plans and how much control he will have over recruitment.
"I am not convinced he will stay," said Draper on the Sunday Supplement. "A lot depends on this week. The problem is Rafa is not going to want to go in the Premier League and get turned over by Jose Mourinho with a sub-standard side. They have done really well to get up but you look at the side and think they need nine or 10 signings.
"I would love him to stay and for Newcastle to thrive for the north east. It would be great, but this is two quite intransigent people going into talks, one of whom doesn't like spending lots of money and one who likes to spend in the transfer market. I find it difficult to predict a really good outcome.
"Rafa Benitez is going to want to choose the players and they are going to want a lot of good quality players. I am not sure if Mike Ashley is ready for that, maybe he is. This is his moment if he wants to endear himself to people at the club and go for it."
Having been appointed as Newcastle manager in March 2016, Benitez was unable to keep the club in the Premier League.
But he stuck with the Magpies last summer and the Daily Telegraph's Jason Burt expects him to lead the club in the top flight.
"He wants to sow that seed of doubt because it strengthens his own hand and his post-match comments the other night were pretty predictable," he said.
"He is quite a political manager. He is in a very strong position. Newcastle have been very good for Rafa Benitez but he has been very good for Newcastle.
"He has done a very good job. He needs to have the right level of investment and control, that's the sort of manager he is. It would be such a shame if he left because I think it's been a really good story with the way he has reshaped the team and got them back up, it's all heading in the right direction.
"To be fair to Mike Ashley he can't just give him an open cheque book, neither should he, they have to control it, but hopefully they give him what he wants. I expect him to stay, there will be negotiations and that's part of it."