‘Sit tight’ – Barton delivers verdict on Benitez at Newcastle after reported West Ham link
By Guy Giles
Former Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has said he does not think Rafa Benitez will walk away from the club despite reports linking the Spaniard to the West Ham job, which is now vacant.
Barton, who made 84 appearances for the Magpies over a four-year spell between 2007 and 2011, said the prospect of a takeover at St. James’ Park means he expects Benitez to stay and receive support from the new owners.
Benitez was also heavily linked to the West Ham job in 2015 but turned the Hammers down after being offered the job at Real Madrid.
Speaking to Talksport, as quoted by the Chronicle, Barton said: “I know he was close to it [in 2015].
“But the fact Newcastle looks like it’s about to be sold, if you were going to buy Newcastle you’d be wise to say ‘sit tight and we’ll give you x amount of money when we come in.’”
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Mike Ashley has recently put the club up for sale after a tumultuous reign as owner, and a consortium led by businesswoman Amanda Staveley look the most likely to take over.
Ashley has continuously come under heavy criticism for his failure to back up his managers with the required financial support, and Barton believes that the new owners will not make the same mistake.
“I can’t see Rafa budging,” he said.
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