Rafa Benitez WILL consider signing new contract… but only if owner Mike Ashley spends in January to keep Newcastle up
- Rafa Benitez is willing to stay at Newcastle if Mike Ashley spends in January
- The Spaniard’s current deal expires in June and fans are worried he will quit
- Newcastle are bottom of the Premier League after nine games without a win
Rafa Benitez says he WILL consider signing a new contract at Newcastle United – but only if Mike Ashley rights the wrongs of the summer in January.
Supporters fear the manager will quit when his current deal expires in June after he refused to sign an extension during the close-season because of his mistrust of the owner, who responded by not releasing transfer funds as a £21million profit was made on trading.
The upshot of a turbulent summer has been a nine-game winless start which leaves the Magpies rock bottom of the Premier League with just two points ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton.
Rafa Benitez will consider staying at Newcastle United provided funds are made available
Benitez wants owner Mike Ashley (L) to provide sufficient funds in January to keep the club up
Ashley has returned to St James’ Park in recent weeks and there is no appetite to sack Benitez even if results fail to improve in the coming matches.
And, in what feels like a significant move, the Spaniard has revealed that he has not given up hope on staying at the club beyond this campaign.
‘We still have plenty of time to talk about the future,’ he said. ‘The main thing is to be sure we do what we have to now, on the pitch, and then after we go to January and hopefully we can do things right. We have to find the right targets to improve things – and do it. If so we have more chance to survive.
‘Last year, we were at the bottom and we did things right in January, we finished 10th. So that is an example for this year.’
Benitez’s side are currently rock bottom of the league and are crying out for some investment
After turning it around in January last season, Benitez is confident funds can help turn it round
Asked if Ashley proving his commitment with funds to back him in the New Year could see him stay on as boss, Benitez said: ‘Yeah, I am happy here.’
For the first time in two-and-a-half years at the club Benitez has found himself questioned by supporters and media in recent weeks.
Substitutions have been booed while there have been suggestions that the manager’s future is a distraction to those inside the dressing-room, especially if they believe he will walk out next year. Benitez, though, says the players appreciate his situation.
‘I know a lot of the players closely and, when we talk, they understand,’ he said. ‘It would be an issue if they could see me and my staff not doing our job. But we are here at 7.30 in the morning and leave 7.30 at night… We are trying to do things in the same way we were last year.
‘I have to be calm and I have to believe because we have done this before.. We (me and my staff) have been successful for years.
‘When I came, I decided to come because of the potential of the club, the city behind it. I felt it would be a team fighting to be in the top eight. I still believe that, if we do the right things.
For the first time in two-and-a-half years, Benitez has been questioned by the club’s supporters
The former Liverpool boss pulled out of appearing on Monday Night Football due to poor form
‘Now we are in a position that I am not happy with… but I have to deal with that and I will try to do my best. Am I happy with the position? No chance. But still I have to believe that we will survive.’
Benitez pulled out of an appearance on Sky’s Monday Night Football earlier this week after Newcastle were beaten 1-0 by Brighton on Saturday.
He had agreed to do the show alongside his former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher but only on the proviso of a positive result, and he explained: ‘There was an invitation and I said, “Listen, if the time is right I will go on”.
‘As soon as we win some games in a row, no problem. I have to respect the fans. You cannot go there to talk about other things when you have to concentrate on your own team.’
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