Rafa Benitez ready to talk to Mike Ashley about his Newcastle United future

Rafa Benitez says he wants to talk to Mike Ashley – sooner rather than later.

Newcastle United moved up to 12th in the Premier League after this evening's 3-1 win over Southampton.

Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez.

Ayoze Perez scored all three goals for Benitez's side, who are 10 points above the relegation zone with three games left to play.

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Benitez, out of contract in the summer, outlined to the club's hierarchy last month what it would take for him to stay at St James's Park.

And United's manager is still waiting for a response from owner Ashley, who wants him to sign a new contract but isn't prepared to put any more of his own money into the club.

Asked if he would speak to Ashley now the club had secured its Premier League status, Benitez said: “I have no idea.

"We have to talk. Everything that will happen between now and June 30 has to be good for everyone. One way or another way, still I'm the manager until June 30.

"I have to decide if we sign anyone, so we have to talk any time."

On the result, Benitez said: “I'm really pleased. The players did really well during the whole season, and the fans, both away and at home, have also been really helpful for the group.

"There are a lot of positives. To have 41 points at this stage of the season means we're nearly safe.

"We cannot say mathematically we're safe, but we are nearly safe, and now we have three games to try to do our best and finish as high as possible in the table."