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Newcastle owner Mike Ashley pledges 'every penny generated' to Rafa Benitez

16 May 2018

In fact, if the Premier League this season had started in the New Year, Newcastle would be in sixth place, a testament to the ever improving job Benitez is doing.

Captain Jamaal Lascelles says Newcastle must do all they can to keep manager Rafa Benitez at the club and happy.

The Spaniard is now in talks to extend his contract, which has a year left to run, but wants to see that current owner Mike Ashley shares his ambition before committing himself to a longer stay. He's got the club together, the city together, and everything has been positive.

"He's won titles and cups at every level and in different countries, so you just hope we can keep him".

Ultimately Benitez, in a paradox of a just, but harsh decision by Florentino Perez, was sacked following allegations of unpopularity with supporters, displeasure with players and a failure to get good results against top sides, and just over two months later he swapped sangria for stotties, the sun for the cold, Real Madrid for Newcastle United.

"When you're flicking through Twitter or people say there's rumours about this, that and the other you're aware of it but I don't take any notice".

And with discussions ongoing with Benitez and United hierarchy about his demands for next season, the former Liverpool boss stated he is unsure "how close we are".

'The transfer window is now very expensive, and you also have to invest in the academy and the training facilities, all these things to enable you to attract players'.

The Toon wouldn't be able to take both players on loan due to Premier League rules so it looks bleak that both will sign for next season. When I made a decision to go to Newcastle and stay there, even in the Championship, it was also because of my family. "I'm only talking to Newcastle right now".

With the World Cup just around the corner, many had tipped Lascelles to make a late charge into Gareth Southgate's 23-man squad for Russian Federation. At the beginning, we were thinking that the target was to stay up, and I can read about a lot of managers now saying, "Great because we are safe", but we were safe five games before, so that is wonderful.

"He picked his team last time and there's a lot of competition in my position".

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley pledges 'every penny generated' to Rafa Benitez