Rafa Benitez reacts to Aleksandar Mitrovic's comments about his Newcastle future

Rafa Benitez has told Aleksandar Mitrovic that he's still in his Newcastle United plans.

Mitrovic wants to play ahead of next summer's World Cup finals in Russia.

However, the Serbia international has played just 49 minutes of Premier League football so far this season.

And the striker told the Gazette after last weekend's 4-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford that his "patience is almost to the end".

Asked about Mitrovic's comments, Newcastle manager Benitez said: "Every player in the squad now is in my plans, because we don't have too big a squad.

"This is a time that agents are a little more agitated, and they're working. In the case of Mitro, we know he's looking at the World Cup. We're playing Dwight (Gayle).

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Aleksandar Mitrovic

"When you have your top scorer (Gayle) coming back, they have to work harder to be better (and) keep working hard and try to be ready.

"If they don't have a chance, it's maybe because others are doing well.

"We have a lot of players in different positions who could feel the same. If they do well, they can play. I understand the debate."