Sunday 26

Newcastle United

Rafa waits on Newcastle offer

6th April 2019, 11:20 by Nick Harris

As they attempt to agree a new contract to keep him at the club, Rafael Benitez has told Newcastle "the ball is in their court".

The 58-year-old Spaniard's existing deal is due to expire at the end of the season and while he wants to stay and the Magpies want to keep him, no agreement has yet been reached.

However, it is understood significant talks have taken place in recent weeks and Benitez has now confirmed that he is awaiting an answer from the club on his proposals for the way forward.

He said: "They were coming with something, we are coming with something, that's it. The ball is in their court.

"It was (managing director) Lee Charnley with my people. I will not talk too much about that. You have the clarification. The ball is in their court."

Benitez's comments came after a report from France suggested he had engaged an agency to help him find a Ligue 1 club with his future on Tyneside unresolved.

However, he insisted claims that he had attended a meeting across the English Channel on March 6 were not true, and that Newcastle remain the only club with which he is in dialogue.

He said: "I didn't have any meetings because I was here until late. The only club I'm talking to about my future now is Newcastle United, and I'm waiting for an answer."

Newcastle fans are desperate for Benitez to commit his future to the club after three years during which he could not prevent them from being relegated, but won promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt and then guided them to a 10th-place finish last season.

A sixth successive home victory - something the Magpies have not achieved since the 2003-04 season under Sir Bobby Robson - over Crystal Palace on Saturday would take them to 38 points for the campaign with five games remaining and within six points of their final total 12 months ago.

That would increase the clamour for a deal to be struck, although owner Mike Ashley will have to provide his manager with assurances over his ambition after failing to find a buyer who can fund a more progressive approach, something the sportswear magnate insists he cannot afford to do.

Asked how much encouragement supporters should take from his comments, Benitez said: "At the moment it's very clear: the only conversation I have is with Newcastle."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.

More Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Benitez the key to Magpies' 17-goal striker swoop

25th May 2019, 14:32

The agent of Club Brugge hitman Wesley says Newcastle have held talks over the Brazilian, but Rafa Benitez must renew before any deal.

Newcastle United

Newcastle plotting Fernandes swoop

24th May 2019, 09:43

Newcastle are reportedly putting together a package to tempt CSKA Moscow defender Mario Fernandes to the north east.

Newcastle United

Magpies interest growing in Fulham star

24th May 2019, 07:45

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez is thought to be planning to make a move this summer for Fulham's Joe Bryan.

Newcastle United

Roma and Marseille rebuffed by Benitez

23rd May 2019, 19:58

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has declined talks with both Marseille and Roma, according to reports.

Newcastle United

Schar pleased with first season at Newcastle

23rd May 2019, 10:36

Fabian Schar believes his first season at Newcastle has proved a success despite a slow start.

Newcastle United

Newcastle braced for first Longstaff salvo

22nd May 2019, 13:42

Manchester United will reportedly begin their chase of Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff in the next 48 hours.

Recent Sport Headlines


Bees agree deal for Viola midfielder

26th May 2019, 18:04

Reports claim Fiorentina have agreed to sell Danish midfielder Christian Norgaard to Brentford for £2.8million.

Rugby Union

McCall looking at improvement despite semi-final win

26th May 2019, 18:03

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall says his team have to improve before the Premiership final despite a convincing semi-final win.

Formula 1

Hamilton wins Monaco GP

26th May 2019, 16:48

Lewis Hamilton managed to hold off a late charge by Max Verstappen to win the Monaco Grand Prix and preserve Mercedes’ perfect 2019.


Wiesberger succeeds at Himmerland

26th May 2019, 16:44

Overnight leader Bernd Wiesberger claimed his fifth European Tour win courtesy of one-stroke triumph at the Made in Denmark.


Kerber refusing to use ankle injury as an excuse

26th May 2019, 16:40

Number five seed Angelique Kerber says she is not blaming her ankle problem for her shock defeat in the first round of the French Open.

Rugby Union

O'Brien blow hits Ireland WC plans

26th May 2019, 16:37

Ireland back row forward Sean O'Brien has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup due to a hip injury.

Paris Saint Germain

Tuchel will not guarantee star duo to stay

26th May 2019, 15:47

PSG manager Thomas Tuchel admits he cannot say for certain whether Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will be at the club next season.

Bayern Munich

Neuer earns Kovac praise

26th May 2019, 15:40

Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac paid tribute to Manuel Neuer after his side's 3-0 DFB-Pokal Final win over RB Leipzig.