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Published: 10:25 | 17/5/16

Benitez close to Newcastle stay


Rafael Benitez is reportedly close to agreeing a deal that will see him remain with Newcastle next season.

Benitez signed a three-year deal with the Magpies when he was brought in to replace the sacked Steve McClaren but the contract is understood to have included an option that would allow him to leave after failing to keep the club in the Premier League.

Supporters want Benitez to stay and speaking in the wake of the 5-1 win over Tottenham on the final day of the season the 56-year-old intimated that he was open to extending his tenure on Tyneside.

"My heart is telling me yes (to stay), it is a great opportunity, city and club but my brain is saying to analyse what is going on," Benitez told BBC's Match of the Day.

"I am really open to talking and see what happens. I have been in football all this time you want to be sure people love you and if you work hard that they recognise that you are trying your best and I have this here."

Benitez is keen to take control of the club's transfer dealings and it has been reported that owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley are open to giving the Spaniard autonomy as they look to return to the Premier League at the first attempt.

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