Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez is refraining from putting pen to paper over a new contract at the club as he holds out hope for Mike Ashley to reignite takeover talks with Amanda Staveley in the summer, according to a report.

The Times claim on their website that although the Sport Direct supremo is keen on sealing the Spanish boss’ long term future in a bid to make the Magpies a more attractive proposal to prospective buyers, Benitez himself is sitting tight until he knows exactly what the future holds.

It is said that renewed talks between Ashley and Staveley are imminent after their failure to agree on terms over the winter, and that they could have a significant domino effect on just what happens with Benitez, with the British businesswoman also keen to keep him at the club.

Football Insider verdict

It looks as though Benitez is willing to play the long game when it comes to his future on Tyneside and considering Ashley’s history, that is not a bad idea. The Spaniard will not want to be stuck working under the Sports Direct supremo if he does not change his ways soon, and that seems massively unlikely, meaning a takeover is the only way he will get the backing he wants in order to hit his ambitions on Tyneside. It looks set to be a tense time over the summer but hopefully for the Magpies’ sake they can keep Benitez at St James’ Park – getting rid of Ashley would just be a massive bonus.

In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club are lining up a swoop for a lightning fast Premier League giant.

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