Manager Rafael Benitez’s talks with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley are set to go into the weekend. The 59-year-old Spaniard met Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley on Thursday to discuss his contractual situation with his existing deal due to expire on June 30.
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Those negotiations continued on Friday as the club’s players and fans alike awaited white smoke amid collective breath-holding in the city. The fact that the two parties are still talking is being seen as an encouraging sign, with Benitez looking for assurances over the club’s ambition and Ashley unwilling to inject fresh capital into a business he has been trying to sell for two and a half years.
With the summer transfer window now open, the manager in particular will want to resolve his own future as quickly as possible before, if he stays, beginning work on his recruitment plans ahead of a third successive Premier League season.