Rafa Benitez admits that arrival of Miguel Almiron and Antonio Barreca ‘does not change everything’ regarding his future – insisting there’s ‘still a lot of things to talk about’ if he’s to continue beyond this season.
This comes just a few days after the Times reported that the club are considering ‘contingency plans’ in case Benitez does leave this summer, with both David Wagner and Brendan Rodgers mentioned.
In his latest interview with Sky, Rafa states once again that there’s ‘plenty of time to talk’ with regards to a new contract – a relaxed stance given his current deal expires in a few months time – however it’s quite clear that our late January business won’t suddenly see him put pen to paper.
Here’s what Rafa’s had to say when speaking to Sky Sports about his future ahead of tonight’s trip to Wolves:
“That (my future) is something we will have plenty of time to talk about,”
“Obviously one or two signings at the end of the transfer window doesn’t change everything.
“We are a little bit better than before, but we still have to talk about a lot of things if we want to move forward.”
In typical Rafa Benitez fashion, he then points towards matters on the pitch – and with very good reason. As he states below, keeping us up is the most important thing right now.
After all, another relegation and he’ll definitely leave at the end of the season – not matter what promises Mike Ashley may muster up this summer:
“[The next few months are] really important for the future,”
“The main thing is to be sure that you win the games you have to win and stay in the Premier League then the future is great.
“But you have to concentrate on that because if you lose energy talking about other things in future interviews we will make a mistake.”
“I was coming from Liverpool by train the other day and the fans were asking me the same question.
“The point is you have to do what is best for your team and at the moment the best thing we can do is to focus and concentrate on that.
“Every game is a final for us, so we cannot waste energy on other thoughts. We have to concentrate on the games, we will have plenty of time for other things.”
What’s clear is that Rafa has by no means closed the door on remaining at Newcastle – even if Ashley is still in charge come the summer.
Don’t get me wrong, I struggle to see a world where Ashley offers assurances that fit in with Benitez’s long term plans for the club, but he’s clearly open minded about it all.
For now, let’s just hope we stay up – something I am very confident of despite our precarious league position. Talks with Rafa can clearly wait.