Benitez opens up about his NUFC future, Mike Ashley and the key to him signing a new contract

Rafa Benitez has offer NUFC fans a promising update on his future at the club, stating that he is ‘really pleased’ and loves ‘everything’ about the club and the city – however he has suggested that signing a new deal will be much easier if we secure new signings and stay up.

The Spaniard also stressed the importance of communication with Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley, stating how important it was for them to all be on the ‘same page’.

Talk of Staveley’s takeover bid stalling has left us fans fearing Rafa Benitez’s long-term future at the club, and with just 12 months left to run on his current deal come the end of the season, Rafa has addressed talk of him signing a new deal.

To begin with, Benitez confirmed that the club have approached him over a potential contract extension, however, for now, he rightfully admits that this shouldn’t be our priority in our circumstances:

“Yeah, but I don’t think that it is the point now, before this game, to talk about whether I have been offered a new contract or not.

“My focus is just to be sure that I am ready for the games and that is my focus. It’s not an issue.

“It will not change anything [if we speak before the end of the season]. I told Mike what I thought, and what I think, about that. He knows my opinion and we don’t have to talk now.”

Benitez then insisted that he is happy on Tyneside, but admitted that it’s important to maximise our potential, also acknowledging that it is a positive thing that Mike Ashley has instigated talks over a new deal:

“I am really pleased here, with the city, the fans, it’s a lovely club and we have to maximise this potential in order to have more chances to do well in the future.

“Yes (it is good that Ashley wants me to sign a new deal). Obviously when we decided to stay, and after the way we were working in the Championship, and winning the Championship, and getting promoted – it wasn’t lucky.

“We are doing things in a way that is quite professional and that is the reason why we have won some trophies, because we are doing things with a methodology that, in the end, is successful.”

Rafa was then asked whether survival was essential for him to extend his current contract. Here’s what Benitez responded with (with a smile according to the Chronicle):

“Then the conversation [over a new deal] will be easier!

“I don’t have any problem with my future,” 

“I’m really pleased here and I love the city, the fans, the potential, everything. When I decided to come I had the same feeling.

“Obviously I have more information now, it’s just a question of doing what we have to do. It’s just to ensure the team is doing well.

“For me it is not an issue. I have to make sure we are doing things in the right way, and if we have this common idea and we are on the same page, then I am not worried about that. We have to be sure we stay in the Premier League.”

Rafa was then asked whether survival was essential for him to extend his current contract. Here’s what Benitez responded with (with a smile according to the Chronicle):

Finally, Rafa then responded to questions over any potential new arrivals, with our hunt for a new striker a pressing issue as we move into the final few days of the window.

Benitez then stressed the importance of communication and being on the same page as the NUFC owner:


“I like to talk and have the communication and I talk with Lee and I was talking with Mike about the names that we wanted for this window,” 

“Of course I cannot control the financial part of the deals. What I have to do is give names, have some information, some feedback from Lee, and then give my opinion.

“We had the conversation about players, Mike gave the green light and then Lee has started working and I need to see if everything is fine on January 31.

“The main thing is that we have to be on the same page, that’s pretty simple.”

Hardly the words of a man who fears his time could be coming to an ends at NUFC – which is promising to hear after talks of a takeover falling apart made us fear the worst over his future.

Then again, Ashley must back him in the final few days of the window and sign the players he needs. Failure to do so and ANOTHER relegation may push Benitez over the edge.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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