Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has claimed that committing his future to St James' Park has become increasingly "tricky" in recent months due to the uncertainty over the club's ambition.

The former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss is loved by fans in the north-west - something which is reciprocated by the 58-year-old head coach.

But Benitez, who has a £6m release clause in his current contract, has claimed that he is still in the dark over what Newcastle's transfer budget will be this summer. 


The Champions League winning manager is also demanding that the club's hierarchy prove their ambition to him before he considers putting pen to paper on a new deal at St James' Park.

"That is a tricky question," Benitez said when quizzed over if he wants to stay at the club next season, quoted by the Times. "When I say I have ambition and I want to win something, it is because the fans also have that ambition.

"I did not come here after so many games and so many titles just to say, ‘OK, we will see what happens’. I want to compete, try to win and everyone has the same feeling. We have the potential. So I fight to do the right things."

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The Newcastle manager is said to be attracting serious interest from Italian title challengers Napoli - with uncertainty over the future of Maurizio Sarri at a record high. 

Leicester City and Arsenal are also said to be keeping tabs on Benitez in case the 58-year-old opts to stay in the Premier League.