On what should be a positive night for Newcastle supporters, former Toon striker Michael Owen has offered a worrying insight into Benitez’s future at the club.
Owen, who joined Newcastle for a then record-fee from Real Madrid in 2005, reckons that Benitez has an issue with how transfers are organised.
The ex-England forward thinks the Spaniard is keen for more control, but he won’t be given it by owner Mike Ashley.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily about how much he gets,” Owen said on BT Sport when asked if the size of Newcastle’s transfer budget could be a hurdle in Benitez signing a new deal.
“I think it is more a case of the power that he has and the overall control of the transfer, that is what I am led to believe.”
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager is out of contract at the end of the season, and he could leave despite fan pleas for him to sign a new deal.
The control over transfers is proving to be the main stumbling block for the Champions League winning boss, and Owen can’t see it being resolved.
He continued: “That is not normally what happens as clubs any more, that’s what used to happen, but it’s not what happens anymore.
“There are transfer committees, there are lots of difference hoops that you have to jump through before a player can get signed and Rafa doesn’t like jumping through these hoops.
“I just think you have got to be very careful when you give the manager all the power because a big club could come in and he leaves the next minute and then all of a sudden you’ve got no structure.
“You can’t do everything like managers used to, but I just think you have got to conform.
“Even at the top clubs now, everybody has got this structure in place, but I think Rafa just wants full control.”
Benitez spoke out about his future as a manager earlier in the week, and revealed that he plans to work for another 11-years.
“Yesterday I was talking with a friend – 11 years. Eleven years as a manager, that’s fine. You can see Roy Hodgson is still there.
“I like to manage teams, I like to coach players, so I’m happy with that. Always I say we are forward-thinking.
“My staff, they are young people and we are always thinking about how to improve things.”
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