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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Newcastle's Benitez keen on staying, but squad needs to improve

Reuters, Wednesday 11 Jul 2018
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Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez was keen to stay at the Premier League side for "five or 10 years" provided he and the team's ownership can work in unison to improve their squad.

Benitez arrived at St James' Park in 2016 and led the team back to the Premier League and then ensured their top-flight survival last season.

The 58-year-old is in discussions with owner Mike Ashley over a contract extension, but Benitez has voiced concerns regarding the club's operations off the pitch.

"I'd like to stay here for five years or 10 years if it's possible because I can see the potential, the fans and the city. Everybody (needs to be) pushing in the right direction," Benitez was quoted as saying by Newcastle's Chronicle Live.

"But we have to do things like I imagine has to be done in a football club."

Recruiting new players has been the main point of friction between Benitez and Ashley during the transfer windows.

Newcastle have signed three players in the current window but Benitez is keen for further recruitment despite being hindered by a steep rise in transfer fees.

"It is difficult because the prices have gone very high for everyone. Some people say: 'Oh the deadline is the problem'. It's not," Benitez added.

"If you are ready and you do what you have to do there is plenty of time. It's just to be sure when you go for a player you make sure you sign him.

"You don't want to waste too much time so you know more or less then you go (for it) and that's it."

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