Rafa Benitez says he can see himself staying at Newcastle United for another decade – if he’s given the right backing.
Owner Mike Ashley wants Benitez – whose contract runs out next year – to sign a new deal at St James’s Park.
However, manager Benitez – who met Ashley for face-to-face talks this summer – will wait before discussing his future.
United’s manager, for the moment, is focused on pre-season training – he takes his players to Ireland today for a training camp – and the club’s efforts in the transfer market.
“I said that we have to see how things are going on and then we can sit down later on and discuss about that (his contract),” said Benitez, who yesterday attended the Foundation 1892 Cup.
“I would like to stay here five years, 10 years, if it’s possible, because I can see the potential, the fans, the city – everybody pushing in the same direction.
“But we have to do things like I imagine has to be done in a football club.”
Benitez sat down with Ashley for talks earlier this summer.
“I was talking with him in the summer, face to face,” said Benitez, who guided Newcastle to a 10th-placed finish in the Premier League last season.
“It was fine, but still we are where we are.”
I would like to stay here five years, 10 years, if it’s possible, because I can see the potential, the fans, the city – everybody pushing in the same direction.Rafa Benitez
Asked what was discussed in their meeting, Benitez said: “It’s fine. We were talking about the future, the possibilities, and that’s it.”
The club has signed goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and midfielder Ki Sung-yueng so far this summer.
Winger Kenedy – who spent the second half of last season at the club – is set to re-join United from Chelsea on a season-long loan.
However, Benitez – who is looking to move a number of players out of the club – admits the transfer window is proving “difficult” given the inflated prices being quoted.
Benitez’s priority is a striker, and Nice’s Alassane Plea and West Bromwich Albion’s Salomon Rondon are on the club’s shortlist.
“It’s difficult, because obviously the prices have gone really high for everyone,” said Benitez.
“Some people say ‘the deadline (August 9) is a problem’. It’s not a problem. If you are ready and you do what you have to do, it’s plenty of time.
“So it’s just to be sure that when you go for a player, you can sign the player. Don’t waste too much time thinking about it.
“You know exactly, more or less, when you go (for a player), and that’s it.”
Meanwhile, Benitez attended the third annual Foundation 1892 Cup yesterday.
Schoolchildren from across the region took part in a football tournament at the club’s Academy.
“The idea was to have the Foundation, the young lads and lasses, the schools and everyone in the community to come together to try and enjoy this experience,” said Benitez.
“Mainly, though, it’s to bring everyone closer to Newcastle United Football Club.
“Over the three years, you can see it has been a success, and that it’s been a positive, so that’s great for everyone and I’m pleased.”