Rafa Benitez reaffirms his position on Aleksandar Mitrovic at Newcastle

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez and Aleksandar Mitrovic
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez and Aleksandar Mitrovic
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Aleksandar Mitrovic has told Rafa Benitez that he’s happy to wait for his chance at Newcastle United.

The striker has found his chances limited this season by the form of Dwight Gayle, the Championship’s top scorer.

I can’t say 100% I will not sell these players, because you never know. At the moment, we are not thinking about selling.

Rafa Benitez

And Mitrovic – who has scored five goals so far this season – is likely to be on the bench again for tonight’s home game against Nottingham Forest.

United manager Benitez spoke to Mitrovic, linked with a number of clubs ahead of next month’s transfer window, yesterday about his situation.

“We have had a conversation,” said Benitez.

“He’s fine, he’s OK and he understands the situation. He knows that Gayle is scoring goals and it’s very difficult.

“It’s like with the keepers. They can see (Karl) Darlow is playing well, so they have to wait.”

Gayle, signed from Crystal Palace in the summer, has scored 17 Championship goals this season.

The only player Benitez is looking to move on in January is midfielder Cheick Tiote, who is out of contract next summer and keen on a fresh challenge.

Tiote – who has come close to leave United in the last two transfer windows – has only made one substitute’s appearance this season.

“I said before that we are not thinking about selling any of these players that are not playing,” said Benitez.

“We have one name and that is Cheick Tiote. I was talking with him.

“I can’t say 100% I will not sell these players, because you never know.

“At the moment, we are not thinking about selling.”