Rafa Benitez addresses the Newcastle futures of Yoan Gouffran and Vurnon Anita

Vurnon Anita
Vurnon Anita

Rafa Benitez says no decision will be taken on the future of Newcastle United players before his meeting with Mike Ashley.

A number of players, including Yoan Gouffran and Vurnon Anita, are out of contract at the end of next month.

I told them the other day ‘forget about your future, short-term, because we have to play this game, and then next week I will meet the owner and then we will talk about what’s going on.

Rafa Benitez

There will be a number of outgoings as well as incomings in the summer transfer window.

And some players will take to the field against Barnsley tomorrow not knowing if the game will be their last for the promoted club.

There have been discussions over new deals for Gouffran and Anita, who have been regulars in the Championship this season.

But Benitez won’t make a final decisions until he has held an end-of-season meeting with club owner Ashley.

The pair will attempt to thrash out a budget ahead of the club’s return to the Premier League.

Asked about the club’s out of contract players, Benitez said: “I am trying to stop you (the media) making speculation about players, because if we have a meeting and we talk about this or that, then it has an influence on players.

“I told them the other day ‘forget about your future, short-term, because we have to play this game, and then next week I will meet the owner and then we will talk about what’s going on and then you will know after the meeting, because before the meeting I can say nothing’.”

Benitez – who signed a number of players last summer specifically for their Championship experience – will also need to make decisions on other members of his squad.

Asked if the Barnsley game would be the last for some players, Benitez added: “In football, especially at this level, if you talk about Premier League and it’s the last game of the season and we are mid-table, the majority of them they will know that maybe they will stay here.

“But in this case, because it’s another level.

“Some players, they are not stupid and they know ‘maybe it’s my last chance’.

“But at the same time they will think that ‘we are promoted and I was part of this winning team’.

“So I think it’s a positive approach more than a negative.”