Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez is set to hold yet more crunch talks at St James’ Park over his future after Mike Ashley met with his right hand men to sort out the Spaniard’s future, according to a report.

The Chronicle state on their website that the Sports Direct owner met with key figures Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop to discuss the state of the club, with Benitez’s contract at the forefront of his mind.

It is said that more negotiations with the former Liverpool man are imminent prior to the pre-season campaign kicking off, and that his demands have been clearly set out on the table.

Football Insider verdict

Newcastle know just how important getting Benitez to sign on and commit his long term future at the club will be, for he plays a key role in the Magpies getting their top summer signings as well as proven talent in managing the side to overachieve. With just a year left on his current deal, the St James’ Park faithful will be feeling pretty nervous over whether he will be staying with them or not, and it appears as though the board are feeling the pressure over getting pen to paper too. The Spaniard is likely not running too many demands but a lot of those will require the financial backing that Ashley has been so reluctant to hand out over the past couple of years. Will he see the error of his ways and give Benitez the support he desires to take Newcastle to the next level, or will the stalemate remain between the two parties in negotiations? Only time will tell, but it will be a nervy month or two for the Toon Army.

In other Newcastle United news, the club are keen on snapping up a £1million hitman.

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