Newcastle United Mike Ashley calls on Rafael Benitez to stay


Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has insisted that Rafael Benitez "has his full support" and has publicly called on the Spaniard to remain in charge.

In fact, if the Premier League this season had started in the New Year, Newcastle would be in sixth place, a testament to the ever improving job Benitez is doing.

He is tied to Newcastle until 2023 after signing a new six-year contract at St James' Park back in October.

"I can't emphasise how important it is", he told Sky Sports. Since he's been here, the club has been on the rise. Since he has been here he has transformed the club and city, it would be silly for us not to keep him happy and let him have what he wants. He said the manager will get every penny generated by the club to spend on players.

"It can't be the case that when you miss one or two players the team is not the same, we need a squad that has to be capable of competing in the Premier League".

Asked if he is expecting a summer bid for the central defender, who will line up against Chelsea on Sunday, Benitez said: "We are talking about a young centre-back, a young English centre-back".

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'All these things can make a difference.

Striker Joselu tweeted: "I just can say THANK YOU".

He said: "There has been a lot of talk and rumours, I don't buy into none of it".

With the World Cup just around the corner, many had tipped Lascelles to make a late charge into Gareth Southgate's 23-man squad for Russian Federation.

It is not completely out of the question that Lascelles is included in Gareth Southgate's England squad this summer, although it would appear injuries to those now ahead of him in the pecking order would be needed as he has not been called up so far. At the beginning, we were thinking that the target was to stay up, and I can read about a lot of managers now saying, "Great because we are safe", but we were safe five games before, so that is fantastic.

The German champions have been rumoured to be keen on the Brazilian, and now it's explained in some detail that the club are considering the player to replace Juan Bernat.