Rafael Benitez has insisted he is willing to commit his future to Newcastle United, on the condition that Mike Ashley finally loosens the purse-strings and invests in the future of his club.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca, Benitez insisted that he and his coaching staff are looking to be part of an ambitious, competitive project – with Ashley's dealings in recent years suggesting that the Magpies may not represent that.
"The owner (Mike Ashley) knows it: me and my team are looking for a future project," Benitez said. "Competitive and ambitious. Let's see if we are in the same line. It does not depend on what I believe.
"I stayed in Newcastle and it was a high risk. We could not save them the first year, we missed a couple of games, but the next we went up. It is a top club and to stay was a sign that we are professional coaches. We are in it to win titles, avoid a descent or whatever."
The Spaniard insisted that the club should have received proper financial backing after their stellar return to the Premier League, to ensure that they didn't have to focus on the prospect of a relegation battle.
"Then the idea was to invest to enter the top ten, but the money did not reach the expected level. Each owner manages his club as he wants, [but] now we are once again solving a problem of that lack of investment.
"Newcastle has everything to be there, in the top eight, but it is not happening. I hope it is done in the future."
Highlighting the significance of a strong finish to the season, Benitez said: "Each match will be a final between now and May."
The former Liverpool manager also tried to assure Magpies fans that he was still just as dedicated to his job, adding: "I arrive between 7.30am and 8.00am and leave between 8pm or 9pm."