Rafael Benitez: ‘It will not be easy to leave a club like Newcastle United’

16 May

Rafael Benitez has given the biggest hint yet that he could stay on as Newcastle United manager in the Championship next season, admitting it would ‘be hard to leave’ the club.


The Mapgies ended a disappointing campaign, which saw the side relegated from the Premier League for the second time in seven years, in fine style on Sunday.

Benitez’s men thumped Tottenham 5-1 at St James’ Park to give the Toon Army a sign of their intent for the second tier next season, and ruin Spurs’ chances of finishing above rivals Arsenal.

The former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid manager’s name was chanted throughout the game, as his side produced one of their best performances of the season despite being reduced to ten men midway through the second half.

And he admitted the rapturous reception he has recived from fans since his arrival on Tyneside would make it harder for him to decide to walk away as he continues to consider his options.

Benitez said: “I was expecting the fans to get behind the team and support me but it has been amazing. I was open to talk and now I am more open to talk.

“It is not easy to leave a club like this and I will talk and analyse and try to do the best for me and the best for Newcastle United. It has got to be the best for both.”

Benitez revealed ahead of Sunday’s last day that there has been ‘positive’ talks over his possible stay at St James’ Park.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley watched the game from the directors’ box for the first time this year, and it is understood he held further talks with the Spaniard after the final whistle.

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