What Rafa Benitez wants from Mike Ashley – and Newcastle's fans

After Rafa Benitez had signed the very last autograph, posed for the very last photograph and congratulated the very last schoolchild, he spoke to journalists at yesterday's Foundation 1892 Cup.

Benitez was relaxed and at ease on another glorious afternoon on Tyneside.

Behind him, the goals were being dismantled and things were being packed up at the club's Academy.

READ MORE: Rafa Benitez reveals what he discussed with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley – and makes a stunning revelation about his future

Newcastle United's manager, of course, wants to build. He wants to build on last season's 10th-placed finish in the Premier League.

Benitez, relaxed and at ease, spoke about his future, his meeting with owner Mike Ashley and the club's efforts in a "difficult" transfer market.

Rafa Benitez at the Foundation 1892 Cup. (Pic: Serena Taylor/NUFC)

Rafa Benitez at the Foundation 1892 Cup. (Pic: Serena Taylor/NUFC)

He was diplomatic, though fans could read between the lines. United have signed three players – Kenedy, Martin Dubravka and Ki Sung-yueng – and he's happy with them and all the players he already had at the club.

But he wants more.

Benitez wouldn't discuss his budget, but it's clear that his funds are limited. Benitez is having to move players out of the club and he could have to make some difficult choices between now and August 9, when the transfer window closes.

Ashley wants his manager to sign a new contract with his deal expiring next summer, but Benitez will wait and see what happens over the next few weeks.

Rafa Benitez at the Foundation 1892 Cup.

Rafa Benitez at the Foundation 1892 Cup.

"I said that we have to see how things are going on and then we can sit down later on and discuss about that," said Benitez.

Benitez also said he could see himself staying at the club for 10 years.

“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," said Benitez. "But we have to do things like I imagine has to be done in a football club.”

Benitez, for all his private frustrations, is positive. He had a smile on his face. He loves the club, the city, the fans and the job.

And he wants fans to be equally positive as their support will be as important as ever in what could be a challenging campaign.