Rafa Benitez responds to questions about his Newcastle contract

Rafa Benitez says his contractual situation at Newcastle United is not an issue as the club prepares for the January transfer window.

Benitez’s deal runs out at the end of the season.

Rafa Benitez has made three changes

Rafa Benitez has made three changes

The club, which takes on Burnley at Turf Moor tonight aiming for a third successive Premier League victory, has been looking to secure Benitez on a longer contract since January.

United’s manager refused to sign a new deal in the summer without firm assurances on transfer spending – and Benitez and owner Mike Ashley became involved in a stand-off.

Benitez eventually had to sell to buy in the summer.

And the 58-year-old is waiting to find out how much he has to spend in the New Year, when the transfer window reopens.

Forget about my contract, because there’s nothing to talk about there right now, so we carry on.

Rafa Benitez

Asked if there had been any discussions about his contract during the international break, Benitez said: “Two things. Forget about my contract, because there’s nothing to talk about there right now, so we carry on.

“As far as the transfer window goes, with the budget and all these things, the first thing is to find the right players because you cannot bring players from the Premier League on loan as we have two players already.

“So we have to see abroad and see where we can maybe buy players from. Instead of doing that, you have to look for the players that you want – and then analyse who we can, or cannot, sign.

“At the moment it is too early, but we are working on names and players.”

Meanwhile, Burnley manager Sean Dyche hopes his side can continue the improvement they showed against Leicester City before the international break.

Dyce’s side put a three-game losing run, during which they conceded 13 goals, behind them by holding Claude Puel’s team to a goalless draw on an emotional afternoon as the King Power Stadium remembered late Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Dyche said: “I thought the structure of the side was better. I thought it looked more like what we look like on a consistent level of performance.

“I think we showed a lot of signs of continued belief in the growth, and literal growth in performances, last season. That’s stuttered a bit at the beginning of this season, for many different reasons, I feel.

“We’re showing signs of getting back to where we want to be. We know we still need to do more on the offensive side.”

Burnley sit on nine points alongside Newcastle.

“Sometimes there’s a bottoming-out period, and then a team’s ready to go again,” said Dyche. “You need a couple of twists and a couple of bits of luck and you might get a result, and then you get another one and life feels different.

“Maybe they’re going through that. I don’t think there’s any radical difference in the shape of the side and the belief in what the manager wants them to do.”