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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 3 August, 2020

Benitez refuses to rule out quitting Newcastle before season is out

The Spaniard has hinted the club’s lack of transfer activity could force him out of St James’ Park.

Rafa Benitez during Newcastle's third-round FA Cup win against Blackburn.
Rafa Benitez during Newcastle's third-round FA Cup win against Blackburn.

NEWCASTLE BOSS RAFAEL Benitez is unable to offer any guarantees that he will stay at the club until the end of the season.

Benitez is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has been reluctant to begin talks over an extension.

The Spaniard has grown increasingly frustrated at the club’s inability to compete in the transfer market and has frequently clashed with its hierarchy over their failure to strengthen the squad.

The Magpies, currently 17th in the Premier League, have yet to make a signing this transfer window and saw a move for Lazio full-back Jordan Lukaku collapse on medical grounds last week.

When asked whether he could guarantee that he would stay until May, Benitez told reporters: “No, I cannot guarantee anything. I guarantee I will be focused and try to do my best every minute.”

Benitez revealed the club remain in talks over potential new signings ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline but admits time is running out. 

When asked why the club had failed to sign any players so far in this window, Benitez added: “It’s not a question for me. The way things are going on here, I can say yes or not to the proposals that I receive.

“I can give some names but I don’t do any negotiations, anything. In the end I can say yes or not so you give me this or that I can choose one or the other one. That’s it. I can say yes if we need that.”

When pushed on whether he would resign if the club failed to land any transfer targets, Benitez added: “We will wait until Thursday and see what happens.

“Hopefully we can get three points against Manchester City [tonight] and then everybody will be happy.

“I came here and I decided to stay in the Championship because I can see the potential of the club. I will try to do my best until the last minute.

“Believe me, I can see where you are with your questions and I can see what is going around the fans, but still I have a cold mind, we have to stick together. We have to work hard together and it is the only way, and the best way, if we want to stay in the Premier League.

“What I have to give back to the fans is this: I am a professional, I will work hard and I will try to do my best.”


Join us to preview the Six Nations with Simon Zebo, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey on Thursday @7pm in Liberty Hall Theatre Dublin.

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