Rafa Benitez reacts to THAT Mike Ashley interview and Newcastle United takeover talk

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez says it is "business as usual" at the club after Mike Ashley's revealing interview.
Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez says it is "business as usual" at the club after Mike Ashley's revealing interview.

Rafa Benitez says it is "business as usual" at Newcastle United after Mike Ashley's revealing Sky Sports interview.

Speaking ahead of the Magpies' Premier League trip to Everton tomorrow, Benitez addressed the talk of takeovers and January transfer window.

Lee Charnley with owner Mike Ashley.

Lee Charnley with owner Mike Ashley.

"I was talking with Lee Charnley and the message is clear it is business as usual," said Benitez.

"We have been in this situation in the past but have to carry on.

"We have a game to play. We have to concentrate on the game.

"When I could hear the interview, we talked with the players and prepared the training session. It is business as usual."

Last night, the under-fire Newcastle owner told Sky's Ian King Live takeover talks were "at a more progressed stage than they have ever been".

He stressed they were not yet at an "exclusive" stage, the potential buyer was not named.

"I am hopeful – for the Newcastle fans, for the club, for everybody, that I will be able to step aside and we will be able to get an owner in that will please everybody," said Ashley.

When asked whether a takeover was realistic by January, the Magpies' owner said: "Realistic? Possible. Realistic is maybe too strong a word.

"Hopefully we can carry on the recent good form and we can get the deal done."

When asked if he was in exclusive talks?

"Not exclusive but talks are at a more progressed stage than they have ever been."

And Ashley was also asked if there would be transfer funds for Rafa Benitez from the potential new owner, Ashley added: "Yes, yes. I am very keen to sell it to the right buyer so then everybody is happy, that would be good news."

On the January window, Benitez added: "Teams at the top are spending a lot of money, teams at the bottom are spending to try avoid relegation.

"We will continue working. I do not have any other answers."