Thursday 23 November 2017

Newcastle United to confirm Rafa Benitez staying as manager next week

Newcastle will not pressurise manager Rafael Benitez as they await an answer over his future
Newcastle will not pressurise manager Rafael Benitez as they await an answer over his future

Newcastle United are set to confirm Rafa Benitez is staying on as manager at the start of next week as they put the final touches to the terms of the deal to keep him at St James’ Park.

Benitez has spent the last few days looking at potential transfer targets and is planning  for the future on the basis he will still be Newcastle manager at the start of next season. Talks last week with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley progressed well and the club have been trying to get everything in place for Benitez to agree to stay.

However, the Spaniard will not guarantee that until he has everything he has been promised in writing from owner Mike Ashley. In turn, the club have been in talks about opening an overdraft facility in order to give Benitez the money he wants for recruitment.

He will also be given the funds raised by player sales, with France international Moussa Sissoko and Holland defender Daryl Janmaat expected to be the first out of the club after relegation to the Championship.

Newcastle, though, are unlikely to be bullied and could demand as much as £20m for Sissoko, who has a contract with them until 2019. West Ham are keen on the midfielder but do not value the former Toulouse player so highly.

The Magpies also want to make a profit on former Feyenoord defender Janmaat, who has attracted interest from Juventus. Newcastle are asking for £10m for the 26-year-old, although the Italian club only intend to bid around £5m.

The delay in confirming Benitez's continued employment had led to fears among Newcastle supporters that talks had collapsed, but Telegraph Sport understands everything should be finalised after the weekend.

The club are hoping to hold a press conference with Benitez in the middle of the week after a final round of talks between him and managing director Charnley.

Benitez has had interest from clubs in Turkey and China, but still wants to give Newcastle a chance to deliver on what he has asked for before talking to any rival suitors.

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