French publication doubles down on Rafa Benitez story amid Newcastle United contract talks

Rafa Benitez has again been linked with a job in France – as he waits for answers from Mike Ashley.

Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 11:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 12:04 pm
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez last week denied a report in L'Equipe that he had met representatives of an agency in Manchester.

It had been claimed that Benitez, out of contract at Newcastle United in the summer, was "interested" in a managerial job in France and that the agency would represent him in the country until September 1.

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Benitez, speaking last Friday, said he had re-opened contract talks with Newcastle and was "waiting for an answer".Asked about the report in France, Benitez said: "No. I read a story on March 6, but I was training, having lunch, left at 7-8pm in the evening. The only club I'm speaking about now is Newcastle United, and I'm waiting for an answer. We have been talking."

Benitez was linked with the Olympique Lyonnais post, which could be vacated by Bruno Genesio, himself linked with Newcastle, this summer.

And L'Equipe has doubled down to the story today, despite Benitez's strong denied of a meeting with the French agency.

Rafa Benitez.

The publication claims that Benitez is an option for Lyon, whose president, Jean-Michel Aulas, says a decision will be made on Genesio's future at the end of the season.

Benitez, meanwhile, has outlined what it would take to keep him at St James's Park in talks with Lee Charnley, Newcastle's managing director.

The 58-year-old wants more investment in the squad, training ground and Academy as well as more autonomy in the transfer market.

Benitez, keen to take the club higher up the table and challenge for the cups, has been frustrated at a lack of backing in recent transfer windows.