Rafa Benitez: These are the players that want to stay at Newcastle

The Toon chief is still negotiating with managing director Lee Charnley having already been given certain assurances by owner Mike Ashley about the future direction of the club.

And despite relegation, Benitez believes he can persuade those players who remain part of his plans, to stick with him.

He said: “At the moment, I can’t say too much because we are still talking but the idea is that the majority of the players would stay.”

Aleksandar Mitrovic has already declared he wants to stay and Andros Townsend’s father suggested his son is willing to give the Championship a crack despite forcing his way back into Roy Hodgson’s England squad.

Ayoze Perez, courted by several clubs both in the Premier League and abroad, has now become the latest player to back the “Rafalution” at St James’ Park.



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