Rafa Benitez reveals his position on a new contract at Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez says Mike Ashley knows EXACTLY what it would take to persuade him to stay at Newcastle United.

By Miles Starforth
Saturday, 23 February, 2019, 10:30
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez's contract at St James's Park expires in the summer.

Owner Mike Ashley – who sanctioned a club-record move for Miguel Almiron last month –has been pushing Benitez to sign a new deal over the past 13 months.

However, Benitez is unwilling to commit to Newcastle unless he is given the funds he believes are needed to take the club into the top eight.

United's manager was coy about his future at his press conference ahead of this afternoon's Premier League home game against Huddersfield Town.

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However, speaking to Spanish publication Marca, Benitez said: "The owner knows it – me and my team are looking for a future project (which is) competitive and ambitious.

"Let's see if we are in the same line.

"It does not depend on what I believe. I stayed in Newcastle and it was a high risk. We could not save them the first year. We missed a couple of games, but the next we went up.

"It's a top club, and to stay was a sign that we are professional coaches. We're in it to win titles. Then the idea was to invest to enter the top 10, but the money did not reach the expected level.

"Now we are once again solving a problem of that lack of investment. Each owner manages his club as he wants.

"Newcastle has everything to be there, in the top eight, but it's not happening. I hope it is done in the future."