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Category: Rafael Benítez

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Newcastle hand Mikel Merino five-year deal after impressive start to loan spell

• The midfielder on loan from Borussia Dortmund has been a key player• Rafael Benítez: ‘He has a lot of quality on the ball and is keen to learn’Mikel Merino has completed a permanent move to Newcastle from Borussia Dortmund after an impressive start t…

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Rafa Benítez: ‘Create a good atmosphere and you can win trophies’ | Louise Taylor

As the Newcastle manager faces his former club in an emotional reunion, he insists money is not everything in search for silverware

Rafa Benítez likes to list the very real similarities between the cities of Liverpool and Newcastle and their respective football clubs. He relishes the hallmark, often razor‑sharp humour common to both sets of supporters, appreciates the broad socioeconomic parallels and understands shared fears that their teams are in peril of turning into perennial also-rans.

If such worries are markedly more pronounced on Tyneside, it is approaching six years since Liverpool last won a trophy – the 2012 League Cup, under Kenny Dalglish. Accordingly their supporters head to St James’ Park for Sunday’s meeting with Benítez’s Newcastle United anxious about the balance of Jürgen Klopp’s often thrillingly attacking yet defensively vulnerable side. With memories of Liverpool’s 1980s hegemony increasingly distant, the days when the Spaniard lifted four trophies – most notably the 2005 Champions League – at Anfield are now a source of nostalgia.

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Rafael Benítez: ‘I was talking to the pilot but little by little I was feeling more sick’

• Newcastle manager had to turn down helicopter ride to Swansea
• Rafael Benítez back in the dugout after surgery for Stoke’s visit

Rafael Benítez will be relieved to return to the dugout on Saturday after being forced to watch Newcastle United’s previous game on television at his home in the Wirral.

He is now sufficiently recovered from surgery to clear infection from the site of an old hernia repair to renew a warm acquaintance with Mark Hughes when Stoke City visit St James’ Park.

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Newcastle fans fear Rafael Benítez is ready to answer West Ham’s £6m call | Louise Taylor

Hammers are thought likely to trigger the disillusioned Newcastle manager’s release clause if the mounting pressure on Slaven Bilic ends with the sack

In football parlance, Rafael Benítez faces a late fitness test before Sunday’s trip to Swansea, City but is rated doubtful. Newcastle United’s manager has spent the last week recovering from surgery to clear infection from an old hernia repair, yet, despite being in considerable discomfort, he did not forget about a fan’s fundraising event for a food bank, which was staged on Thursday night. Benítez duly picked up the telephone and not only pledged a generous donation but asked what else he could do to help the cause.

Related: Rafael Benítez open to job offers amid anger over Newcastle transfers

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Rafael Benítez open to job offers amid anger over Newcastle transfers

• Benítez has lost virtually all trust in Mike Ashley’s regime
• Manager would seriously consider West Ham job if Slaven Bilic goes

Rafael Benítez has lost virtually all trust in Mike Ashley’s regime at Newcastle United and, no longer regarding his job as a long-term project, would be receptive to alternative offers of employment at similarly sized Premier League clubs.

Although Newcastle’s manager will not walk out in the wake of a disastrous transfer window, Benítez is angry, deeply frustrated and ready to contemplate a new life away from Tyneside.

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Newcastle’s Rafael Benítez willing to sell Dwight Gayle for £18m

• Manager concerned at striker’s attitude over this summer
• Gayle was top scorer as club won Championship last season

Rafael Benítez is ready to sell Dwight Gayle for around £18m but will not release the striker until a replacement is lined up and guaranteed to arrive at Newcastle United by Thursday evening.

Although Leeds United, who are seeking a replacement for Chris Wood at the centre forward, have apparently cooled their initial interest in Gayle the 26-year-old does not lack admirers in the second tier. Gayle scored 23 goals in 34 second-tier games to help Benítez’s side win the Championship last season, Newcastle’s manager has been concerned by his attitude this summer.

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Newcastle’s Rafael Benítez willing to sell Dwight Gayle for £18m

• Manager concerned at striker’s attitude over this summer
• Gayle was top scorer as club won Championship last season

Rafael Benítez is ready to sell Dwight Gayle for around £18m but will not release the striker until a replacement is lined up and guaranteed to arrive at Newcastle United by Thursday evening.

Although Leeds United, who are seeking a replacement for Chris Wood at the centre forward, have apparently cooled their initial interest in Gayle the 26-year-old does not lack admirers in the second tier. Gayle scored 23 goals in 34 second-tier games to help Benítez’s side win the Championship last season, Newcastle’s manager has been concerned by his attitude this summer.

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Trouble on Tyne: Benítez and Ashley reach boiling point again at Newcastle | Louise Taylor

The manager wants new signings, the owner to sell the club. What are the key questions at St James’ Park in what promises to be a vital week ahead?

Newcastle United face West Ham United at St James’ Park on Saturday after losing their opening two league games without scoring. With the euphoria of promotion a rapidly receding memory, tensions behind the scenes are escalating and the squad look ill-equipped for the Premier League. So how has it come to this, why is the “cold war” between Rafael Benítez and Mike Ashley intensifying?

Surely it cannot be true the manager and owner rarely speak, let alone meet?

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Newcastle’s summer transfer dealings not ideal, Rafael Benítez says

• Owner Mike Ashley’s blueprint now less ambitious than in May
• ‘He knows what he told me and what I was thinking,’ says manager

Rafael Benítez has indicated that Mike Ashley’s summer transfer market blueprint is now significantly less ambitious than it appeared when the two men last met in May.

“He knows what he told me and what I was thinking,” said Newcastle United’s manager, who has not spoken to the club’s owner since that rare get-together and finds himself forced to embrace a new-found minimalism when it comes to refurnishing his squad.

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Rafael Benítez baffled but unbowed by dysfunctional setup at Newcastle United | Louise Taylor

Manager insists ‘we’ll do our best’ on return to Premier League, despite minimal transfer budget and a lack of communication from owner Mike Ashley

The mood inside the room had turned as gloomy as the dark clouds on view through the windows when someone attempted a joke. “It’s North Korea v the United States,” they said, deadpan. “Just without the nuclear weapons.”

It got a laugh, yet Mike Ashley v Rafael Benítez is a little bit different; less Kim Jong-un v Donald Trump and much more a particularly capricious brand of shortsighted parochialism against a worldly wise grasp of the bigger picture.

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Newcastle are testing Rafael Benítez’s patience with tardy transfer work | Louise Taylor

The manager wants eight to 12 players and expected more arrivals by now. Although Benítez is not minded to walk out, tensions are rising at a club where the next crisis never seems to be far away

Shortly after 8am on Monday the security barrier at a deceptively nondescript‑looking suburban football training facility was raised and Rafael Benítez’s car entered the sometimes parallel universe known as Newcastle United.

A couple of minutes later the club’s manager was pictured smiling warmly while extracting a bag from the boot before heading in to his office and awaiting the arrival of first-team players reporting back for the start of pre‑season training.

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North-south football divide is a figment of the imagination | Louise Taylor

David Moyes thinks Sunderland suffers for its location but a look around the north-east and a conversation with Newcastle’s Rafael Benítez reveals it can attract the best talent

David Moyes is discussing culture shock, regional imbalances and their role in his club’s relegation. “Along with Manchester, London is the capital of English football and those cities will always attract the best players,” says Sunderland’s manager, a few weeks before his resignation.

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North-south football divide is a figment of the imagination | Louise Taylor

David Moyes thinks Sunderland suffers for its location but a look around the north-east and a conversation with Newcastle’s Rafael Benítez reveals it can attract the best talent

David Moyes is discussing culture shock, regional imbalances and their role in his club’s relegation. “Along with Manchester, London is the capital of English football and those cities will always attract the best players,” says Sunderland’s manager, a few weeks before his resignation.

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Newcastle’s Rafael Benítez promised ‘every last penny’ after talks

• Owner Mike Ashley says he will give full backing to manager
• ‘I’m pleased with the positive approach we are all taking’

Newcastle manager Rafael Benítez is set to be handed significant funds to rebuild for life in the Premier League after productive talks with owner Mike Ashley.

The two men, along with managing director Lee Charnley, met at a secret location on Tuesday to discuss the way forward in the wake of the club’s promotion back to the top flight, and fears that the Spaniard could walk away from the club less than 12 months after signing a three-year contract appear to have been allayed.

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Rafael Benítez to have talks with Mike Ashley before extending Newcastle stay

• Newcastle manager to meet the club’s owner in the next 10 days
• Talks will focus on Benítez’s remit and summer transfer budget

Rafael Benítez’s future at Newcastle United will be determined when he sits down for talks with Mike Ashley, the club’s owner, in the next 10 days.

Benítez is happy on Tyneside and hopes to remain in charge at St James’ Park but will require reassurances about his spheres of autonomy and transfer budget before committing to staying on.

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Newcastle United clinch promotion back to the Premier League – video

Newcastle United secured promotion on Monday with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Preston at St James’ Park. Newcastle will now join the current Championship leaders, Brighton, in the Premier League next season

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Newcastle are back in the Premier League – what happens now depends on Mike Ashley | Louise Taylor

Rafael Benítez’s side have secured promotion to the top tier but plenty of questions remain about the future direction of the club

Rafael Benítez and Newcastle United are back in the Premier League – but have they underachieved or overachieved this season? And, most importantly, what happens now?

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Newcastle are back in the Premier League – what happens now depends on Mike Ashley | Louise Taylor

Rafael Benítez’s side have secured promotion to the top tier but plenty of questions remain about the future direction of the club

Rafael Benítez and Newcastle United are back in the Premier League – but have they underachieved or overachieved this season? And, most importantly, what happens now?

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Rafael Benítez puts owner Mike Ashley on notice after Newcastle are promoted

• Elated manager lays out requirements for top-flight return
• Says: ‘We have to prepare to be strong enough for the Premier League

Rafael Benítez had no sooner secured Newcastle United’s return to the Premier League than he subtly reminded Mike Ashley, the club’s owner, that he is most certainly not prepared to settle for second best next season.

Asked whether he expected still to be in charge at St James’ Park in August, Newcastle’s manager smiled before offering a teasing reply. “You never know,” he said after the 4-1 home victory over Preston North End, who finished with 10 men, had earned automatic promotion.

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Rafael Benítez puts owner Mike Ashley on notice after Newcastle are promoted

• Elated manager lays out requirements for top-flight return
• Says: ‘We have to prepare to be strong enough for the Premier League

Rafael Benítez had no sooner secured Newcastle United’s return to the Premier League than he subtly reminded Mike Ashley, the club’s owner, that he is most certainly not prepared to settle for second best next season.

Asked whether he expected still to be in charge at St James’ Park in August, Newcastle’s manager smiled before offering a teasing reply. “You never know,” he said after the 4-1 home victory over Preston North End, who finished with 10 men, had earned automatic promotion.

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