Mike Ashley is ready to offer Rafa Benitez a one-year deal that could see the Spaniard earn up to £15 million to ensure that he remains at St James' Park beyond this season, according to a report from The Sun.
Benitez's future remains the main talking point on Tyneside, with his current deal with the Magpies expiring at the end of the season. And it is proving difficult to find a Newcastle fan who does not believe that keeping Benitez is crucial to their hopes of making progress.
The Sun reports that Ashley is wary of handing Benitez a lengthy deal as it would only add to the cost for anyone looking to buy the club from him - but he is seemingly willing to make the offer extremely lucrative.
The report suggests that Benitez could earn around £240,000-a-week, and also take home a further bonus if he manages to keep Newcastle in the Premier League for another year.
It will be interesting to see whether Benitez is willing to accept such an offer. If Ashley decides that it is a take it or leave it offer, then it may not be a huge surprise if he does sign. His preference looks to be to stay at Newcastle, and he is going to struggle to land better terms elsewhere if the numbers prove to be accurate.
However, having had to deal with speculation about his future for so much of his spell at Newcastle, perhaps there is also a danger that Benitez could turn down the offer given that the same problems are likely to crop up again in less than a year.
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