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A Summer of Change at Newcastle United?

New manager? Player overhaul? There could be a summer of change at Newcastle United.

Newcastle United v Southampton FC - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Newcastle United go into the final two games of the season with Premier League football assured for next season, however, the Magpies also head into the final throws of the season no closer to agreeing a new deal with manager, Rafael Benitez.

Not only could Newcastle United be without Rafael Benitez next season, but a number of high profile players could follow the Spaniard out the door. The likes of Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Mo Diame, DeAndre Yedlin and Salomon Rondon could all be playing their football elsewhere next season.

Newcastle fans are right to be anxious about the future, this is a really important period for the club’s hierarchy to get key decision right. There will undoubtedly be a huge backlash if the club allow Benitez to leave the club in the summer, the Spaniard has worked wonders since arriving at the club. The fans do not want the club to take a step backwards, losing Benitez would be a gigantic leap backwards.

The problem Newcastle fans have is the club are so far behind, not only in terms of spend and modern day facilities but the people at the very top of the club have no feeling towards the club, and no understanding of what it takes to take a club forward. The club’s hierarchy are like having a bicycle in a race against a Ferrari. Slow and labored in everything they do, in the transfer market the club are usually three or four steps behind their competitors, which is one of the main reasons it takes so long for the club to finalise deals. There’s no wonder why Benitez has become frustrated with the club, to let a manager of Benitez’s caliber walk out the door would be criminal.

Newcastle United v Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

If Benitez were to leave, a lot of the fans would walk away from the club. It would be seen as the final straw, time and time again the fans turn up but end up getting hurt by an owner who has very little time for the club. Fans who have refused to even think about going into next season without Benitez at the helm, now see it as a distinct possibility. Fans fear another “Yes man” will come in, should the Spaniard leave in the summer. Many have suggested Sam Allardyce could return to the club, after Mike Ashley publicly apologised for sacking the former Bolton Manager. A move that certainly wouldn’t go down well on Tyneside.

The club must wake up and get their priorities in order for next season, now is the time to act. Salomon Rondon, currently on loan from West Brom has impressed during his time at the club, however, Mike Ashley’s unwillingness to spend on players approaching their 30’s is likely to scupper any permanent deal from materialising. The Venezuelan has scored 9 and assisted in 7 goals this season. He has become a hugely important player to this Newcastle side, his hold up play has allowed the likes of Ayoze Perez to shine.

Leicester City v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Rondon formed a great understanding with Perez and record signing Miguel Almiron. Losing the Venezuelan would leave a massive void at the club. The board are reluctant to spend £16M on a player approaching his 30’s. However, £16M for a player who already has a full season at the club under his belt and proved how important he is to Newcastle, should be a no brainer. Newcastle’s board are stuck in the dark ages, they struggle to look past the £10M mark on players, which is the reason Newcastle have been struggling for many years under Ashley’s ownership.

The backlash would be more than Ashley could handle, if he allowed Benitez and some high profile players to leave. The Sports Direct owner has come out the other side when he had previously made disastrous mistakes. This time feels a lot different, supporters are becoming more and more restless. Benitez isn’t stupid, he knows what he means to the fans and the club, he will continue to play politics until he gets what he wants. It is a case of who will blink first, Ashley or Benitez, you can bet your mortgage on Benitez coming out on top.