Rafa Benitez addresses his future at Newcastle United after Arsenal defeat

Rafa Benitez says "nothing has changed" as far as his contract talks with Newcastle United are concerned.

Monday, 1st April 2019, 11:07 pm
Updated Monday, 1st April 2019, 11:23 pm
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez's deal runs out in the summer – and the club's manager has put off talks until the team is safe from the threat of relegation.

A report today claimed that Benitez was "almost certain" to stay at the club.

Rafa Benitez.

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However, Benitez, speaking after tonight's 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, played down reports that he was ready to commit his future to Newcastle, who take on Crystal Palace at St James's Park on Saturday.

“At the moment, I'm only concentrated on what I can do, and that's to prepare the team for the next game," said United's manager.

"People can talk about things, and that's normal in football. Players, managers, whatever. The only thing I can do now is try to do the job properly and stay in the Premier League.

“Nothing has changed. We're exactly the same as we were some days ago. We're in the same position, the same situation. I'm just trying to concentrate on Crystal Palace."

Newcastle are 14th in the Premier League table and seven points clear of the relegation zone ahead of the Palace game.

Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette were on target for Arsenal, who moved up to third place after the result.