Rafa Benitez turns down European club's advances as Newcastle United deal talk continues

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has reportedly turned down a managerial move to Marseille as he remains intent on a St James's Park stay.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 14:42 pm
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is yet to agree a contract extension at St James's Park.

According to French publication La Provence Benitez "was approached" by the former European champions as they look to find a replacement for Rudi Garcia.

But they claim Benitez, also courted by AS Roma, knocked back their advances.

The La Provence report states: "Rafael Benitez was approached without it going much further than that. The Spanish coach would prefer to sign a contract extension at Newcastle."

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Garcia announced this week he is quitting Marseille "for the good of the project" after missing out on European football next season.

Benitez remains locked in talks with Magpies chiefs as they look to come to an agreement on extending the manager's stay at United.

A meeting between Benitez, managing director Lee Charnley and owner Mike Ashley took place last week in London, with dialogue continuing over the weekend and into this week.

Talks could well continue into next week with both sides yet to come to a concrete arrangement on the future.

United are keen to keep Benitez at the helm, after the former Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager achieved promotion to the Premier League, then 10th and 13th placed finishes in the top flight in his three-year stint in the top job.

Benitez is keen to see United match his own personal ambition, with the 59-year-old keen to take the Magpies from a mid-table outfit, flirting with relegation, into a side equipped to challenge the fringes of the established elite.