'It's not an issue' - Benitez gives revealing insight into crucial Newcastle talks
By Russell Edge
Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has revealed that there are no contract talks ongoing but he insists he will be sitting down with owner Mike Ashley in the near future.
The Times have reported that the business supremo is keen to keep the Spanish manager at St James’ Park beyond his current contract, which ends at the end of the 2018/19 season.
However Benitez himself has admitted that there are no contract talks ongoing, and insists that his focus is on ensuring he ensures his team are prepared for their next match.
He told the Shields Gazette ahead of Sunday’s game against Liverpool: “I have a contract. It’s not an issue now, for me.”
“I was told there was something in the press. My focus now is the next game. That’s it.
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“It’s not something that will change my approach, or that I will be more comfortable if I sign a 20-year-old contract. It doesn’t change my approach for the next game.
“I love my job – that is to coach, to improve players and to create a team that is competitive and can win games.
Benitez and Ashley have endured a fraught relationship during the Spanish manager’s time at St James’ Park, with Benitez voicing his frustration at the lack of investment over the summer transfer window.
However he says while there has been a lack of contact with the owner, he is ready to sit down and have a conversation about the future of the club.
“The relationship is fine, because we don’t need to talk every day on the phone,” Benitez told the Shields Gazette.
“There will be a time, maybe next month, maybe next week, maybe in two months.
“We will have a conversation, a dinner or something, where we will talk about the future.”
Benitez will welcome his former side to St James’ Park on Sunday, as he looks for his side to return to winning ways after having tasted defeat against Brighton last week.
In other Newcastle United news, the club have agreed a deal which could be huge for the future.