Rafa Benitez gives update on his future plans as Newcastle edge towards Premier League safety

Rafa Benitez says he’s already planning ahead for the future at Newcastle United – ahead of end-of-season talks with Mike Ashley.

Benitez will sit down with owner Ashley to discuss a way forward at the end of the campaign.

The club, which takes on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium this afternoon, is close to securing its Premier League status following three successive home wins.

And Benitez is working with managing director Lee Charnley on plans for next season.

“My idea is just to concentrate on Leicester,” said United’s manager. “But, I’m telling you that we’re already working. I talk with Lee Charnley (and say) ‘what about this player?’, ‘what about the other one?’, ‘can we do that?’.

“You were asking about Kenedy (on loan from Chelsea), can we buy him? All these things, we’re already talking about that. We cannot say this is like this, because still we don’t know if we will get these 40 points.

Rafa Benitez. Picture by Frank Reid

Rafa Benitez. Picture by Frank Reid

“But it’s not that we are doing nothing now, because we don’t know. No, we’re working, but the pace of this work changes if you know that you are already there.”

Benitez will have one year left on his Newcastle contract in the summer.

Asked about his own future, he said: “It’s not a big issue. The main thing is to get 40 points. If we are there, it will be easier to start working on everything.

“But, at the same time, we are already working on that. Not just me, but also the scouting department, Lee Charnley.

You were asking about Kenedy (on loan from Chelsea), can we buy him? All these things, we’re already talking about that.

Rafa Benitez

“We’re trying to advance and be sure we make the right decisions for the future, but, obviously, you cannot say ‘we will do this or that signing’, because you don’t know.

“But you’re working on names and on what you improve for the next few years.

“It’s part of my responsibility. But it’s not as if my future will change this or that.

“We will start working, and we can make decisions and if everything is finished, because we get 40 points.

“It’s not an issue, but, at the same time, we’re already working.”