By North-east correspondent Harry Sykes
Newcastle are confident Rafael Benitez will commit to staying at the club by the end of this week, according to a report.
The Spaniard signed a three-year Magpies contract in March but revealed there is a break clause in the deal that allows him to quit if the club are not in the Premier League.
According to The Sun, Benitez held a second round of productive talks with Newcastle chiefs on Monday after previously accepting he would leave if the club went down.
It is said that the 56-year-old Spaniard is now ready to stay at St James’ Park even though the club are in the Championship next season.
An agreement could even be in place about Benitez committing to his £5million-a-year deal in the coming days.
It has been reported that Benitez wants full control of transfers and scouting, reform of the training ground and medical departments and improvement of the academy.
Both parties are encouraged by the two rounds of talks, which took place last Thursday in the wake of confirmation of the Magpies’ relegation and then again on Monday, when Benitez met Newcastle owner Mike Ashley for the first time.
The Spaniard has established an instant rapport with supporters since replacing the unpopular Steve McClaren with 10 matches of the campaign remaining.
Following a few early teething problems, he has overseen a revival in which Newcastle ended the season with a six-match unbeaten run including a final-day 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham.
Benitez is said to have had a change of heart about staying after being swayed by the support he has felt from fans and is convinced that, with guarantees over budgets and control, he can eventually take the Magpies back into Europe.
In other Newcastle news, a senior figure is set to quit the club as Benitez takes control.