Mike Ashley makes transfer pledge after Rafa Benitez confirms he's staying at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez is staying at Newcastle United after "positive" talks with owner Mike Ashley.

The club today confirmed that its manager will stay and take charge of the team in the Premier League next season.

Benitez and managing director Lee Charnley met Ashley for talks last night in the wake of Sunday's final game of the season against Barnsley.

Newcastle's 3-0 win at St James's Park secured them the Championship title.

And Ashley – who attended the game – has moved quickly to reassure Benitez about the backing he will get in the transfer market.

A club statement read: "Newcastle United can confirm that a meeting has taken place between the club's owner, Mike Ashley, managing director Lee Charnley, and manager Rafa Benitez.

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

"It was agreed by all parties that the meeting was very positive and constructive. Mike again congratulated Rafa and his team on gaining promotion to the Premier League as champions.

"Plans for next season were discussed, including the purchase and loan of players to add to the squad in readiness for the Premier League season."

Ashley has pledged to back Benitez in the summer transfer market.

"I've confirmed to Rafa and Lee that they can have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season," said Ashley.

Benitez is now looking forward to the "challenges ahead" having reaffirmed his commitment to United.

"I'm pleased with how the meeting went and the positive approach we are all taking together to build on what we have started this season," said Benitez.

"There will be challenges ahead of course, the summer will not be easy.

"But the hard work has been going on for some time, and we can now continue positively with the development of the squad ahead of the start of the new season.

"I wish fans an enjoyable summer."