By 90Min
May 08, 2018

Rafa Benitez believes that Newcastle will find it easier to attract players to St James' Park this summer - if owner Mike Ashley backs him in the transfer market.

Benitez is facing a key week of talks as he seeks reassurances over transfer funds before committing to a contract extension. The Spaniard wants an agreement made before Newcastle's final Premier League game against Chelsea on Sunday.

Quoted by the Mirror, Benitez said that Newcastle have re-established themselves in the top flight and should therefore find it easier to get their targets.

“Now I think we will have more chances to do what we want to convince players to come here," said Benitez. “The difference last year was that I remember talking to a couple of players and [when you’ve been in the] Championship is always...oh fine, the city, the fans, the stadium, the manager, whatever you want to say.

“The ideal situation is to have around 22 players and then three players from the academy that have the potential to do well. Can we do that? I don’t think we can do that at the moment.

“So we have to manage. What you need is more quality in the squad to be sure you have 20 or whatever that can play any game."

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Benitez has been publicly vocal about his desires for Newcastle's future and his frustrations with long-winded contracts talks which could yet see him leave the Magpies this summer.

He added: “Some of the players that are already here are young players and didn’t know the Premier League, so they will be better players next year if they continue working in the way they have been working.

“But at the same time you need some players with experience that they can manage these bad runs and these situations where you are panicking a little bit.

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

“If you are trying to be in the top eight, we know that we have to do this or that."

Benitez's comments are cause for concern among Newcastle fans, who want the Spaniard to stay after leading them to promotion from the Championship and mid-table security in the Premier League in spite of the club's tight-fisted transfer policy.

Newcastle could yet finish in the top half but face a difficult end to the season with trips to Tottenham and Chelsea.

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