Newcastle United’s wait for Rafael Benitez to give them an answer on his future at the club could extend into next week, it’s understood.
The 56-year-old is making all the right noises as he edges towards opting to stay at St James’ Park and leading the fight for promotion back to the Premier League, after coming up short in his 10-game mission to spare the club from the drop.
But despite his interest in what has been tabled in talks with owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley over the last week, the Spaniard is keeping his door open for another opportunity.
The former Chelsea and Liverpool manager is understood to have sought a series of assurances in those talks and has been encouraged by what he has heard in response – to the point where he has already cast a glance over a series of potential transfer targets.
There was an acceptance on his arrival that the break-clause negotiated in his three-year contract would almost certainly be activated in the event of relegation and while club officials remain cautiously optimistic, formal agreement is yet to be reached.
The Magpies, in the circumstances, will not rush Benitez for an answer, but will hope their readiness to meet as many of his demands as they can will prove decisive.