herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Benitez is pleased by Toon talks

Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has given the clearest indication yet that he is ready to extend his stay at St James' Park. 

The Spaniard (59) spoke to managing director Lee Charnley this week and hinted he had been  encouraged by the talks.

Asked if there had been any progress on his contract, Benitez replied: “Yes. I was talking with Lee Charnley this week and will let you know when we have more news.”

Asked if the talks had been positive, he said: "Yes. Things are at least moving forward, and we'll see if something is right at the end."

The news will give fresh hope to fans desperate for Benitez, who's out of contract this summer, to stay longer. Benitez said: "I know the fans are trying to convince me to stay. I appreciate that. I am happy here."

In the meantime, Benitez will send Toon into battle with old club Liverpool - whom he guided to Champions League glory in 2007 - this evening knowing victory could end the Reds' title dream for yet another season.

He added: "We are  professional and we have to do our job. My relationship with the city, with Liverpool, with the club, with the fans, is there.

"I was there six years, we won some trophies and we have good memories.  ''I think everybody  understands that we are professionals and we will do our best, that's it."

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