Rafa Benitez reveals his view on his contract situation – and Newcastle’s January transfer business

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez says he’ll be signing players for the long term at Newcastle United – even though his own future is far from certain.

Benitez’s contract at St James’s Park expires at the end of the season.

If you’re signing a player on a contract for five years, you’re not only signing a player for you – because at the moment I do not have an extension – you’re signing them for the club, for Newcastle United, for the future.

Rafa Benitez

And United’s manager will address his future after January’s transfer window, when he hopes to be given funds to strengthen his squad.

Benitez, however, insists that he will take a long-term view when selecting targets with Steve Nickson, the club’s head of recruitment.

“If you’re signing a player on a contract for five years, you’re not only signing a player for you – because at the moment I do not have an extension – you’re signing them for the club, for Newcastle United, for the future,” said Benitez.

“So if you sign a 37-year-old player, I understand he will go with me maybe. But if you sign someone who’s still young, with many years to play, he will stay here and do well.

“It’s not that people think the manager is signing the players, the manager is studying with the scouting department and analysing everything.

“You can sign players like Federico Fernandez, because I worked with him at Napoli. I knew him, I knew his mentality, so OK, fine.

“He’s an experienced player, he’s not very expensive, he can give us a hand. I was very clear the manager can decide in this instance, but I used to work with a technical director for many years.

“Now I work with a chief scout, so you share with all your staff and they say ‘this is the player’. If they say ‘this is the player’, and you don’t think so, OK, then you have to start talking.”

Benitez has spoken to managing director Lee Charnley (pictured) about targets. We’ve been speaking to Lee about players, but not about prices.”

Meanwhile, striker Elias Sorensen scored his 16th goal of the season last night as Newcastle’s Under-23s beat Leeds United 2-0 in the Premier League Cup. Adam Wilson also found the net at Whitley Park.