Belfast Telegraph

Benitez will get £75m to strengthen Newcastle


By Damian Spellman

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is set to be handed a significant summer war chest to rebuild for life in the Premier League after productive talks with owner Mike Ashley.

The two men, along with managing director Lee Charnley, met at a secret location on Tuesday to discuss the way forward in the wake of the club's promotion back to the top flight, and fears that the Spaniard could walk away from the club less than 12 months after signing a three-year contract appear to have been allayed. In a statement released yesterday evening, Ashley said: "I've confirmed to Rafa and Lee that they can have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season."

That income will include the club's share of the latest broadcast deal and, while there will be no repeat of last summer's remarkable selling spree, which saw the Magpies rake in a total of £68million for Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum and Andros Townsend, any proceeds from player sales will be added to that pot. However, running costs will have to be subtracted from the total and, while Premier League wages for new arrivals will eat into that, Benitez could perhaps reasonably expect to have somewhere in excess of £75million at his disposal.

The Spaniard said: "I'm pleased with how the meeting went and the positive approach we are all taking together to build on what we have started this season. There will be challenges ahead, of course - the summer will not be easy - but the hard work has been going on for some time and we can now continue positively with the development of the squad ahead of the start of the new season."

• Harry Redknapp has agreed to stay as manager of Championship side Birmingham City and is expected to sign a one-year contract later this week.

Belfast Telegraph


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