With Newcastle United’s Premier League safety a certainty barring a stunning turn of events, there will have been a change in focus in the boardroom at St James’ Park.
Making sure the club did everything possible to stay in the top flight was crucial for both the near and far future, the money generated pivotal to ensuring the Magpies can push on down the line.
Not only will it be a huge financial boost but it will also have a massive impact on their footballing future, especially when it comes to the situation of manager Rafael Benitez.
The Spaniard is without a doubt the Magpies’ biggest asset and without him at the helm fans can only wonder what sort of trouble they would be in, with the plight of near-rivals Sunderland a warning to all over the perils of poor leadership.
While the Black Cats suffer, Benitez has Newcastle pushing for a top 10 finish but with just a year left on his contract, there will be worries that he will not commit to a new deal while Mike Ashley is at the helm.
Which is why a report from the Daily Star will strike fear into the hearts of the Toon Army – and act as a stark warning to the board at St James’ Park.
It is claimed that Premier League rivals Leicester City are lining up Benitez as a replacement for Claude Puel, with the Thai owners doing little to rid themselves of the ruthless tag they have been stuck with.
The Foxes have seen a constant overturn of managers since sacking Claudio Ranieri the season after winning the title, and the former Southampton man seems firmly within their sights after failing to push for a top six finish.
There is no doubt that Benitez, who has vocalised his frustrations about a lack of spending in the transfer market, would receive the backing he desires at the King Power Stadium, and with a year left before he is set to leave, Newcastle must take the threat of Leicester into consideration and get a deal done sooner rather than later.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are seeking a swoop for a 5’3″ attacker in dazzling form in the top flight.