‘Productive’ first talks as Newcastle look to tempt Benitez to stay as manager

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has held a first round of talks with Newcastle United over staying on at St James’s Park.

Benitez met managing director Lee Charnley for discussions less than 24 hours after the club was relegated from the Premier League.

The 56-year-old has a clause in his contract which means he can walk away from the job after relegation.

But Benitez has been swayed by the club’s fans – who are desperate for him to stay and rebuild the team – and is seriously considering staying on at St James’s Park.

The early discussions with Charnley are said to have been “productive”, though no agreement has been reached, and more talks are planned for the coming days.

Benitez is seeking assurances and guarantees over a number of issues, notably player recruitment.

The Spaniard wants control over incomings and outgoings, and that has implications for chief scout Graham Carr.

Newcastle supporters are planning to implore Benitez to stay on Sunday, when the club takes on Tottenham Hotspur at St James’s Park in the final match of a troubled season.

Sunderland’s 3-0 win over Everton on Wednesday night condemned the club to the Championship.