By Will Butcher
Matt Le Tissier has said Newcastle must now back Rafa Benitez in the summer after the manager reportedly committed his immediate future to the club.
Benitez guided the Toon to promotion as champions with a 3-0 win over Barnsley on Sunday, and Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie said that he has has since declared his future with Newcastle after talks with owner Mike Ashley.
Speaking to Sky Sports News’ Premier League Daily Show on Thursday (6am), Le Tissier urged Newcastle to ensure Benitez has what he needs to spend during the summer.
The former Southampton and England star also lauded the decision to keep Benitez in the managerial hotseat at St. James’ Park.
“Keeping Benitez is massively significant, he is a top top manager,” Le Tissier said. “He went into that league, won the title and is now back in the Premier League.
“But he knows he needs to strengthen the squad.
“He needs those assurances before he commits to the future because the last thing he wants to do is to go into a season with his hands tied behind his back.”
It appears that owner Ashley has agreed to give Benitez his demands after the former Liverpool boss agreed to stay on as manager.
In a statement on the official Newcastle website, Ashley said: “’I’ve confirmed to Rafa and Lee that they can have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season.”
Fans will now hope that translates into raw hard cash for Benitez to start spending immediately.
Newcastle could be about to lose three of what is a thin squad before the start of the transfer market, with Christian Atsu returning to parent club Chelsea after his loan on Tyneside.
Joining Atsu in leaving could be senior duo Vurnon Anita and Yoann Gouffran, who are set to see their contracts expire in less than two months.
Benitez is likely to be busy in the transfer market when the window officially opens on July 1.
In other Newcastle news, the Magpies are eyeing a swoop for this Spanish ace.