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Rafa Benitez lays it on the line at Newcastle ahead of Mike Ashley meeting

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is hoping for a transfer windfall from the hierarchy to push his side on bigger and better things next season.
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is hoping for a transfer windfall from the hierarchy to push his side on bigger and better things next season.

Rafa Benitez says he’ll fight for what he believes is right at Newcastle United – as he “cares” about the club.

Benitez’s representatives are talking to the club’s hierarchy about a new deal.

However, United’s manager will not commit to the club without a number of assurances about future investment in his squad.

Benitez wants to see Newcastle, 10th in the Premier League ahead of this afternoon’s game against Watford at Vicarage Road, challenge for trophies and European football.

Asked if he enjoyed tough negotiations, Benitez said: “Not really. I would be happier just thinking about my team, my players, the tactics, analysing other teams and improving players.

“But, in modern football, and especially in the Premier League, the budget is crucial.

I did not come here after so many games and so many titles just to say ‘OK, we will see what happens’.

Rafa Benitez

“So you see a club like Man City, an amazing coach (Pep Guardiola) with an amazing team and they could not win last year. They had to spend a lot of money to win.

“The reality is, with the prices in the market now, you need the money to compete.”

Benitez will fight to get the resources he feels he needs to compete higher up the table.

“Sometimes people think that is negative, but I think it is a positive, because it means you care,” said Benitez.

“So I’m not thinking about myself. At Valencia, they said ‘we will give you this player and you can make him into a proper player’, so sometimes it is negative against me, because I can work with players and improve them and they think you do not need to spend too much money.

“But if you want to go to another level, you need more quality.”

Benitez believes he shares the ambition of United’s fanbase.

“When you have that experience, you try to do your best for your team, for your club, for your fans,” said the 58-year-old, who has won trophies throughout his managerial career.

“When I say I have ambition and I want to win something, it’s because the fans also have that ambition to win something.

“I did not come here after so many games and so many titles just to say ‘OK, we will see what happens’.

“I want to compete, try to win, and everyone has the same feeling. We have the potential to do that. So I fight to do the right things.”

Benitez will sit down with owner Mike Ashley – who put the club up for sale late last year – at the end of the season.

“They have had the conversation,” said Benitez.

“They were talking with my people and they will continue talking.

“The first thing is to go as far as you can, and after we will talk (with Ashley), but we have to be close.”

Benitez told the BBC’s Premier League Show this week that he felt Newcastle had “massive” potential.

Asked if he wanted to stay beyond the end of his contract, he said: “I said in an interview the other day on the BBC (that) I decided to stay because of the potential, the fans and the city.

“Then we have to do what we have to do.

“We have one week to relax, try to get points in these games, and then we will see what’s going on.”