Rafa Benitez gives Kenedy update at Newcastle and reveals his stance on Jamaal Lascelles

Rafa Benitez at the Foundation 1892 Cup.
Rafa Benitez at the Foundation 1892 Cup.

Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United are "very close" to signing Kenedy on loan.

The winger arrived on Tyneside last night for a medical ahead of a season-long loan.

Kenedy spent the second half of last season on loan at Newcastle from Chelsea.

Speaking at today's Foundation 1892 Cup, United manager Benitez said: "We have to finish (the deal). Still it's not done, but it's very close, and we're happy with that."

Asked what Kenedy brought to United last term, Benitez added: "He brought his quality and also he was working really hard.

"When you talk about Brazilian players, you talk about the quality that they have, but he's a nice lad and was working hard for the team. I think it's quite positive for the atmosphere in the dressing room."

Rafa Benitez at the Foundation 1892 Cup.

Rafa Benitez at the Foundation 1892 Cup.

"We're trying to bring players who can fit into our system and we're happy with these three additions."

West Ham United were today linked with a £25million bid for Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles.

"The reality is that we don't want to sell Jamaal," said Benitez. "He's a key player for us, and the captain and a leader."

Meanwhile, Benitez attended the third annual Foundation 1892 Cup at the club's Academy, which saw schoolchildren from across the region compete in a football tournament.

"It's a nice day, and the main thing is to bring a lot of children here," said Benitez.

"The work of the Foundation is great. To promote the Foundation, sport and football is perfect. It's good for these children to have a connection with Newcastle United and hopefully they will be fans in the future."