By Emma Sanders

Rafa Benitez has refused to reveal whether he will sign Christian Atsu on a permanent deal in January after being questioned by the press following Newcastle’s 2-0 victory against Wigan.

The 24-year-old is currently on loan from Chelsea but is due to return to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season and Newcastle fans are keen to keep him at the club.

Atsu came on as a 70th minute substitute against the Latics and scored shortly afterwards to double the lead and seal victory for Benitez’s side who currently sit at the top of the Championship table.

However, when asked whether Benitez is lining up a permanent deal in January, the Spaniard simply stated he was only focused on the next game.

“At the moment he is signed up for the next game with Burton [Albion] so I am pleased with that,” said Benitez, as reported by the Chronicle. “We don’t talk about the market now.”

Newcastle will be without Atsu in January when he is expected to leave on international duty to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana.

Mo Diame is also expected to join up with Senegal, meaning Benitez could lose both of Wednesday’s goalscorers in the new year and may opt to dive into the January window as a result.

Atsu has made 14 appearances for the Magpies since joining in August, including four starts in the Championship but has had a slow start, scoring just two goals in the league.

In other Newcastle news, the club are set to rival Juventus and Roma for this attacker.