Rafa Benitez returns to Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez has visited Newcastle United’s training ground.

Monday, 10th June 2019, 4:54 pm

Benitez today returned to the club’s Benton HQ for the first time since the end of the season, when his team secured a 13th-placed finish in the Premier League with a convincing 4-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The 59-year-old – who is out of contract on June 30 – has been considering an offer from owner Mike Ashley to stay on at St James’s Park.

Benitez – who has been at his family home on Merseyside – met Ashley for talks in London last month.

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Newcastle refused to comment on Benitez’s visit to the training ground.

The club’s players are due to report back for the start of pre-season training on July 4. United will then head to China for the Premier League Asia Trophy, which is being staged in Nanjing and Shanghai.

Benitez was asked about his future while in Madrid for the Champions League final between Liverpool, his former club, and Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month.

“I had a contract with Newcastle and was happy there, especially as my family loves being in England," said Benitez. "Now I'm open to new possibilities. I don’t know what will happen over the next couple of months."

Rafa Benitez.

Benitez – who was forced to sell to buy last summer after refusing to sign a new deal – wants to know that he can take the club, which was put up for sale in late 2017, in the “right direction” if he signs a contract.