Rafa Benitez has been assured he will be backed with transfer cash, ahead of crunch talks on his Newcastle United future.
Magpies boss Benitez is set to ask for £100million to relaunch the club in the Premier League next season after securing promotion on Monday by beating Preston — with as many as SEVEN new first-team players.
But, more crucially, he wants control over who gets bought, so he is accountable for the side’s performance.
Benitez admitted there was still “work to do” before finalising his future, and hopes that will include face-to-face talks soon with owner Mike Ashley.
Senior club sources reassured the Spaniard and his staff on Tuesday that he will be handed the scope to make United competitive in the top flight.
Newcastle players celebrate promotion in the dressing room
Former Liverpool and Chelsea manager Benitez is ready with a business case for players he wants to sign, including fees, wages and potential for their future.
He is happy to bring through young players and add value, but also wants scope to bring in experienced older heads if he sees fit.
Newcastle backed then-boss Steve McClaren with £60m-plus of signings the summer before they went down.
And Benitez is happy to raise cash by dismantling some of the squad he built for the Championship.
He wants reinforcements in all areas, apart from goalkeeper, with a No10-style playmaker and a goal-scorer high on the list.
The future of chief scout Graham Carr would be in doubt if the 57-year-old is handed the transfer power he seeks.
Benitez has a strong hand and two years left on his contract on Tyneside. West Ham are his most interested suitor should he walk away, but he would rather continue unlocking Newcastle’s great potential.
Keeper Rob Elliot has outlined the importance of keeping the boss in charge and rebuilding.
He said of Benitez: “He deserves every plaudit.
“It’s been tough for him. He’s come from Real Madrid [where he was fired in January 2016] to manage Newcastle in the Championship [after failing to save them from the drop last season], expected to win the league, expected to go up without losing a game – and it doesn’t work like that.
“He’s been brilliant, he’s kept himself calm and the players calm.
Newcastle fans chant as they seal promotion
“Being around the place, there is a much more positive atmosphere. When we have lost, we have bounced back straight away. But the biggest thing is the connection between the fans and the players and the manager – it is back again.
“Hopefully, we can just continue that because, when we are all together and the club is moving in the right direction, the whole city can be really special on nights like Monday.”
Elliot added: “Everyone said it would be an easy thing to do at the start of the season. But for a group of young players – just put together, in a league that not that many of them know – to do what they have done is a brilliant achievement.”