After victory at St James' Park this evening, Newcastle United look set to spend at least another season in the lucrative surroundings of the Premier League. With that important piece of business solved, the attention of fans has immediately turned to securing the services of their manager, Rafa Benitez.
Mike Ashley's parsimonious ways, however, has many Toon fans worrying about securing the services of the Spaniard ahead of next season. But the former Champions League winner with Liverpool may be looking for more than money, according to Michael Owen.
Speaking on BT Sport during coverage of this evening's clash between Newcastle United and Southampton, the former striker claimed he understood his former manager may need more than money if he is to remain on Tyneside.
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
That's not normally what happens at clubs anymore. It's what used to happen but it's not what happens anymore. There's transfer committees and hoops that you've got to jump through before a player can get signed off on. And Rafa doesn't like jumping through these hoops.
"You have to be careful giving the manager all the power."
"What other business on this planet totally relies on one person to do everything?"
Michael Owen thinks it's unrealistic for Rafael Benitez to control everything he wants to at Newcastle... pic.twitter.com/A8dK2W9PhP
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 20, 2019
Before the game, the 59-year-old threw his future at the club into doubt when he insinuated a difference of opinion with the club.
What I want is to get a job that I can enjoy competing. If I cannot, maybe I have to stay at home and wait, I don't know. But, at the moment, my idea is to have a team that can compete.
I have been here for more than three years and I was clear from day one. I also think it is what the fans are looking for (achieve something more). We need a team that can compete in the Premier League and not just survive in the Premier League.
I think there are ways we can do that, but we have to make sure we are of the same opinion.
With only three games left, Newcastle will face relegation-threatened Brighton next Saturday before hosting title-chasing Liverpool in their final home game the week after. Fulham welcome the Northerners to London on the final day for what could just happen to be the manager's last game with the club, despite the wishes of fans, the club and perhaps the Spaniard himself.