Rafael Benítez was noncommittal about his future at Newcastle United after revealing he knew Amanda Staveley’s mooted club takeover was off three weeks go. “My future is tomorrow against Manchester City,” the manager said when questioned about whether he would reconsider his commitment to remaining on Tyneside long term. “I will not do it [reconsider] before the game at Manchester City. Football is football – everything can change in one minute.” Benítez has received assurances from the club’s owner, Mike Ashley, that he will be able to strengthen his relegation-threatened squad before the transfer window’s closure but is waiting for his first signing. “We have some targets and some names,” he said. “We are trying to progress.” On Tuesday night sources close to Ashley announced the sports retailer had ended talks with Staveley and accused her of time-wasting, which she has denied. “When I was talking with Mike Ashley he told me that the takeover wouldn’t go through,” Benítez said. “I have known this for three weeks. There’s been a lot of speculation about the takeover but he told me it was not going to happen.” More positively, Benítez seems cautiously optimistic that Ashley realises the dangers of not reinforcing the team this month and the manager is anxious to do everything in his powers to hold the owner to his promises.
Rafael Benítez wants three or four Newcastle signings in next 12 days
The Guardian | Jan 20