Rafa Benitez reveals when he wants to sit down for contract talks at Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez hopes to sit down for talks over his Newcastle United future this week.

Benitez, out of contract in the summer, has been “waiting for answers” from the club’s hierarchy after outlining what it would take for him to sign a new deal.

United’s manager hinted at his impatience after Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Newcastle’s fans chanted “Rafa Benitez, we want you to stay” at the Amex Stadium, where Ayoze Perez was again on target.

Benitez was asked about the vocal backing he got against Brighton.

“I’m really pleased with the fans – at home and away,” said Benitez. “Especially the away fans who come here, such a long distance, to support the team and to support their manager. I’m really pleased with that.

“If we have any news, we’ll let you know. Now, it’s just the game. Hopefully, we’ll have some meetings in the next week, and then we will see where we are.

“It needs to be sooner rather than later, because that will be good for both parties.”

Asked if he had any meetings organised with owner Mike Ashley or managing director Lee Charnley, Benitez said: “No. I can see Lee. We can talk any time. If they want to organise something, fine. That’s no problem.”

Benitez – who wants to take the club higher up the table – says “every day counts” as rival clubs start to plan for the summer transfer market.

“Obviously, every day counts, because in the end you want to do things as soon as possible to be sure that you can start working, but we will see,” said Benitez.

Asked if he was relaxed about the situation, Benitez said: “Not relaxed. It’s not depending on me.

“I’m waiting. I don’t know (how long) – it depends. I think it’s very clear that each one has his own ideas. What do we want to do in the future? That is the key.

“If we have different visions, then we have to find a point in between where we’re happy with that. If not, then we have to talk, and then try to move forward as soon as possible.”