Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has suggested that he has no immediate plans to re-open negotiations surrounding a contract extension.
The Spaniard arrived at St. James' Park back in 2016 on a three year contract following the departure of his predecessor Steve McClaren. He now has just nine months left on his contract and, after a difficult summer full of disagreements with Newcastle chairman Mike Ashley, negotiations surrounding an extension have hit a brick wall.
There is no doubting that Newcastle fans would be desperate to see Benitez remain at the club, but he has now claimed that he doesn't plan on having a discussion with Ashley any time soon.
"The time to talk about that was before we finished the transfer window,” said Benítez (via The Guardian).
“If we have to talk about a possible extension we’ll talk, but now is not the time.”
After a difficult summer in which the Magpies actually managed to make a £20m profit through summer transfer dealings, Benitez also had his say on what he is aiming to achieve this season.
“I’ll be realistic and say my aim is to stay up,” he claimed. “We have to fight. You have to focus on football. The fans were expecting [me] to be upset but my responsibility is to be sure we have no excuses not to perform. I have to concentrate on bringing the best from our players.
“It’s always difficult to compete in the Premier League,” he said. “The promoted teams have spent a lot of money, the teams who were promoted with us have spent a lot of money. That means it will be very difficult.”
Newcastle are set to kick off their Premier League season at home to Tottenham Hotspur and we are sure to get an indication of just how this season might go.