Rafa Benitez reacts to Amanda Staveley's Newcastle takeover talks '“ and reveals January cash hopes
Rafa Benitez says he "expects" to have money to spent in the January transfer window '“ even if Mike Ashley still owns Newcastle United.
Benitez was asked about Ashley's meeting with would-be buyer Amanada Staveley ahead of tomorrow's home game against Leicester City.
United's manager insisted that he was unaware of the meeting at a London curry house.
However, Benitez, keen to strengthen his squad for the second half of the Premier League season, did address next month's transfer window.
Benitez hopes to sit down and discuss the window with managing director Lee Charnley and, possibly, owner Ashley, who put the club up for sale in October.
"My main thing now is to focus on the games – and I'm doing that," said Benitez, who missed out on a number of summer targets.
"But, at the same time, we had a meeting in May, and I'm expecting the money we weren't spending (in the summer) could be available, so hopefully we can sit down and see where we are."
Asked if he had had assurances about transfer funds, Benitez said: "Not yet, no."
Ashley and Staveley were photographed leaving a Hampstead restaurant on Wednesday might.
Asked about the meeting, Benitez said: "I was not there, so I have no idea.
"I know (about it), because everyone around here is obviously talking about that. It doesn't change anything for me, so I have to pick the team the squad and prepare for the (Leicester) game.
"What we're doing now is watching videos to prepare for the game.
"We have a game tomorrow, and it doesn't change my approach to the game. All I can do is to influence the things I can influence."
To watch NUFC writer Miles Starforth discuss Rafa Benitez's press conference, click on the video above