Celtic linked Rafa Benitez reportedly talking to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley today

By David Walton

May 16, 2019

Rafa Benitez will reportedly sit down with Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley to discuss a new contract today.

Everyone has known for a while that the Celtic-linked managerial candidate would have these discussions at some stage this week. But according to the Telegraph, those crunch talks will take place in London today.

It’s also a concern as positive discussions could, apparently, lead to a contract extension being announced over the weekend. That would kill any chance Celtic have of landing a deal for the Spaniard.

Rafa Benitez is working wonders at Newcastle (Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

But there does appear to be plenty of points on the agenda for the meeting too. According to the Telegraph, Benitez wants Ashley to show ambition to steadily improve Newcastle into becoming a consistent European club. He also apparently wants to be able to buy players over 26 if they are available.

The Telegraph believes that Benitez already knows the vision he wants to put to Ashley. And with talks beginning today, we could be set to hear more about this situation in the coming days.

Benitez seems more than willing to stay

All of this doesn’t sound good from a Celtic perspective. It’s quite clear that Benitez clearly wants to stay at Newcastle so long as Ashley agrees with his vision for the club. It hardly seems like he’s itching to toss St James’ Park away for Celtic Park.

Benitez appears happy at St James’ Park (Steven Hadlow/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Of course, there’s always the chance these talks go sour. After all, both Benitez and Ashley have had their disagreements since he became Newcastle boss. There appears to be plenty of issues at Newcastle between the pair (The Sun).

Celtic will hopefully be waiting to pounce if things go sour here too. The club hasn’t confirmed whether they’re interested in Benitez or who indeed their number one target is.

Nobody knows what’s going through this pair’s minds. (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Sun reported just two days ago that an appointment wouldn’t be made until after the Scottish Cup final. That would hopefully give enough time for Benitez and Ashley to come to a conclusive decision here.

But these talks are worth keeping an eye on for us Celtic fans over the coming days. They could dictate whether we truly have a chance of landing Benitez or not.