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Category: Rafael Benítez

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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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Champagne on ice for Rafael Benítez and Newcastle as hard road back nears end | Louise Taylor

If results go their way over the Easter weekend, United will achieve promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking

Montse Benítez accepts that plans for her husband’s 57th birthday on Sunday must remain tentative until late on Friday night. Everything hinges on whether Newcastle United take a significant stride back towards the Premier League by beating Leeds United at St James’ Park and leaving themselves within touching distance of automatic promotion. “I’ll tell you after Friday whether I can celebrate my birthday,” says Rafael Benítez. “If we win, I can enjoy it.”

Related: Goalline technology given early Championship debut in play-offs

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Ryan Sessegnon double takes play-off hopefuls Fulham past Newcastle

Rafael Benítez suffered an ignominious first anniversary in charge at Newcastle. Twelve months to the day since he agreed to take over at St James’s Park, Benítez watched his side go down to their joint-heaviest league defeat of the season after Tom Cairney’s early opener was followed by two second-half goals from 16-year-old Ryan Sessegnon.

Related: Brighton ease past Derby to move level on points with leaders Newcastle

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Jamaal Lascelles’ late equaliser earns leaders Newcastle a point at Norwich

Newcastle United’s captain Jamaal Lascelles spared his goalkeeper Karl Darlow’s blushes with an 81st-minute equaliser to earn them a draw in a pulsating 2-2 match with Norwich City at Carrow Road which left the Championship leaders a point clear of Brighton who were held at home by Ipswich Town.

It was an error by Darlow that had enabled Norwich to lead at half-time after they had recovered from conceding a goal by Ayoze Pérez with only 23 seconds on the clock. Under little pressure Darlow had sliced a clearance straight to Cameron Jerome who tapped the ball into an empty net in the 17th minute.

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Rafa Benítez’s concerns remind McClaren some things never change at Newcastle

The Derby manager returns to St James’ Park to find his successor experiencing a number of the problems he did despite their lofty position in the Championship

When Steve McClaren climbs the steps at the back of the Milburn Stand and walks into main reception at St James’ Park on Saturday, Derby County’s manager will almost certainly have a strange sense of deja vu.

Almost 11 months after his sacking from the same position at Newcastle United, McClaren is likely to detect strangely familiar tensions and disturbing political undercurrents swirling in the Tyneside air.

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Rafa Benítez’s concerns remind McClaren some things never change at Newcastle

The Derby manager returns to St James’ Park to find his successor experiencing a number of the problems he did despite their lofty position in the Championship

When Steve McClaren climbs the steps at the back of the Milburn Stand and walks into main reception at St James’ Park on Saturday, Derby County’s manager will almost certainly have a strange sense of deja vu.

Almost 11 months after his sacking from the same position at Newcastle United, McClaren is likely to detect strangely familiar tensions and disturbing political undercurrents swirling in the Tyneside air.

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Newcastle transfer tensions hint at power struggle as QPR dent title push | Louise Taylor

Mike Ashley has always relished a high-stakes gamble but Rafa Benítez cannot have expected Newcastle’s owner to risk quite so much right now

Who knows where Mike Ashley’s failure to trust Rafael Benítez’s judgment during the January transfer window might leave Newcastle United in May but Ciaran Clark’s last-gasp own-goal suggested three nervous months lie in store for a presently wobbly side.

Although still second in the Championship, Newcastle are only four points ahead of third-placed Reading and, frequently struggling against a spirited QPR, they looked a team craving reinforcements.

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Jonjo Shelvey inspires Newcastle to FA Cup replay victory over Birmingham

Jonjo Shelvey’s superior vision and exquisite passing range not only earned Newcastle United a fourth-round trip to Oxford United but ensured Gianfranco Zola’s wait for his first victory as Birmingham City’s manager continues.

The good news for Zola is that even after first-half goals from Matt Ritchie and Yoan Gouffran had seemed to seal this replay for Rafael Benítez ’s side, his players never gave up. They were briefly rewarded when David Cotterill finally pulled one back to make things interesting before Ritchie reasserted Tyneside dominance by meeting Shelvey’s cross to lash home in stoppage time.

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Newcastle United’s Rafael Benítez hopeful of backing in transfer market

• Rafael Benítez wants to beef up squad for promotion push
• Manager asks Mike Ashley to let him find the players he needs

Rafael Benítez remains quietly optimistic that Mike Ashley will continue backing his transfer market judgment and allow him to strengthen Newcastle United’s squad as he sees fit this month.

It is understood that Newcastle’s owner, who still listens to the advice of Graham Carr, the Championship-topping club’s chief scout, would prefer Benítez to acquire players aged 25 and younger with potential for high sell-on values but, although broadly happy with that policy, the manager craves the odd slightly more experienced recruit.

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