Newcastle are playing a very dangerous game with Rafa Benitez.

With West Ham said to be lurking and ready to pounce if talks between Benitez and the club don’t end well, there is a real sense of danger for Newcastle.

And Chris Waugh, a journalist on the Chronicle, made an astonishing claim in the Chronicle, where he said: “Benitez has grown frustrated at the slow pace of talks with Newcastle and, although emails and phone calls have been exchanged between his representatives and the club’s hierarchy, he is yet to be convinced that real progress has been made.

“The lack of a face-to-face meeting with Ashley has also frustrated Benitez, who wants direct assurances from the Sports Direct magnate following three torturous transfer windows.”

That’s right. Despite Benitez’s loyalty to the club and bringing them up as champions of the Championship, Benitez is not deemed worth of a direct meeting with Mike Ashley.

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It’s incredible, especially as the report claims this is something Benitez wants.

Instead, the report claims that his representatives have been locked in talks with managing director Lee Charnley for the past three-and-a-half weeks.

Worse, Charnley is giving the same vague assurances that Benitez got last summer, that resulted in Benitez not being able to move on any targets until the end of the summer window.

Benitez might be loyal but he has his limits and it seems that managing at Newcastle is about a tough a job as you can get in the Premier League.

It makes no sense because without Benitez the club would be worth significantly less and if there’s one thing Ashley does appreciate it’s money.

If he’s not careful this summer, he’s going to kill the golden goose for good.

In other Newcastle news, Benitez tells Ashley how much he wants to stay at Newcastle as official approach due

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