Rafa Benitez ready to BLOCK big-name departures at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez says he does NOT have to sell any players in the wake of relegation.

Benitez today committed himself to the club for the next three seasons.

The 56-year-old signed a revised contract after lengthy discussions with owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley.

Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Georginio Wijnaldum and Daryl Janmaat are among those players who have been linked with moves away from St James's Park.

But Benitez, speaking at a Press conference at the stadium, insisted he had been "assured" that he didn't have to sell.

“What I have is the assurance that if I don't want to sell any players I don't have to," said Benitez.

"We can keep all the players who we want."

On the challenge facing Newcastle in the Championship, Benitez said: “It is one of the strongest leagues.

"It is difficult because you have good teams and intensity. It is an exciting league, and we have to be ready.

“We need experience and support from the fans, because that will be crucial, like it was in the last game."