Newcastle news: Rafael Benitez ‘would like to do something more’ with Magpies than just settle for mid-table obscurity


Newcastle news: Rafael Benitez ‘would like to do something more’ with Magpies than just settle for mid-table obscurity

Rafael Benitez has told Newcastle he is not their man if all they want to do is finish 15th in the Premier League.

The 59-year-old Spaniard’s representatives are currently locked in negotiations with the Magpies’ hierarchy over a contract extension, with his current deal due to expire on June 30.

Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle have endured another topsy turvy season

He wants to stay at St James’ Park and they are keen to retain his services after seeing him guarantee a third successive top-flight season with last Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Southampton.

However, he is keen to be able to challenge for the top half of the table and cup success, and is pleading for the investment he would need to be able to do that before signing on the dotted line.

Asked about his ambition for the club, Benitez, whose side travels to relegation-threatened Brighton on Saturday, said: “If we can do the right things we can compete. For what? If we can compete and then try to at least be close to winning something…

“But we have to do things right – I don’t say this is wrong, but right for my point of view.

Ayoze Perez scored a hat-trick against Southampton last time out for the Magpies, who are now safe from relegation

“You can bring in another manager and then maybe he will be happy if they do well and they finish 15th.

“I would like to do something more, if it’s possible.”

Benitez’s tone was more conciliatory than it has been in recent weeks, perhaps a reflection of the sense of relief which has settled on Tyneside after the completion of a survival mission he said would be “a miracle” after a difficult start to the campaign.

He insists he has a realistic vision for the future and is not asking for the earth, just enough backing to be able to go about his job without the threat of relegation constantly hanging over him.

He said: “For me, if I can compete I would like to compete for something more. And if you cannot then you have to manage and be realistic.