Former Newcastle striker Micky Quinn has claimed that Magpies boss Rafael Benitez will remain with the club beyond the current season if owner Mike Ashley is willing to match his ambition.
Newcastle deservedly defeated Arsenal 2-1 at St James' Park on Sunday to all but secure their Premier League status for next season. Given the lack of clarity and funds available to the Spanish tactician, the club's move into the top half of the table has been hailed as a massive achievement.
Benitez's exploits in the north east haven't gone unnoticed, and a number of clubs have been linked with a move for the former Liverpool boss - including most recently La Liga outfit Real Sociedad.
However, Quinn has sought to quell any fears among the Newcastle faithful and insisted that the Spaniard will stay in Tyneside if he gets the financial backing of the club's hierarchy.
“Let me put this to bed straight away [that Benitez could join Arsenal]. He wants to stay at Newcastle, he’s got a year left, and he’s had other offers," the pundit revealed to talkSPORT as quoted by HITC.
“If he gets the backing he will stay at Newcastle. He loves the club and the fans. I was speaking to him on Friday, actually, and he wants to see this job through and see Newcastle above Arsenal next year, possibly in the top six.
“That’s the ambition Benitez has, but it’s whether Newcastle can match that ambition. I got this from the horse’s mouth on Friday.”
Benitez is contracted to the club until the summer of 2020, although he is set for further contract talks at the end of the season when he will reassess his future.