Rafa Benitez coy on his future as his contract runs down at Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez was coy when asked about a possible future return to Valencia, where had a hugely-successful spell as manager early in his coaching career.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 5:03 pm
Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez, out of contract at Newcastle United in the summer, plans to coach for another decade.

However, the 58-year-old will not sit down to thrash out his future at St James's Park with owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley until the club is safe from the threat of relegation from the Premier League.

Rafa Benitez.

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Benitez was asked by Radio Marca if he would ever return to Valencia, which is celebrating its centenary.

“I have a lot of respect for the Valencia manager (Marcelino),” said United's manager, who won La Liga twice with Valencia. “I have 10 years left in football, and you never know where I’ll end up.

“I haven’t returned to a club, because the circumstances have never been there to do so.”

Benitez celebrated his third anniversary at Newcastle earlier this month.

And the 58-year-old said he was prepared to walk away from United at the end of his contract – even though he’s “happy” at St James’s Park.

"Always, when you are happy in a place, it’s not easy (to leave)," said Benitez. “But, at the same time, you want to compete, you want to do well and you want to improve."