Benitez: Ashley and I need to be on the same page

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez wants assurances from Mike Ashley that he shares his ambitious plans for the club before signing a new deal.

Rafael Benitez has suggested he will only sign a new contract with Newcastle United if he and owner Mike Ashley “are on the same page”.

Benitez’s contract ends in June and speculation is rife that he will walk away, given longstanding frustrations over Ashley’s lack of investment in the playing staff.

Newcastle did break their transfer record in January for the first time in 14 years to bring in Miguel Almiron for £20.5 million from Atlanta United – a sign that Ashley could be set to loosen the purse strings even further when the market opens again.

Benitez insists he will not make a decision over his future until the end of the campaign, when he plans to sit down with his boss and ensure they share the same ambitions for the Tyneside club.

“I want to focus on the upcoming games,” he told Marca. “Each match will be a final between now and May.

“The owner knows it: me and my team are looking for a future project, competitive and ambitious. Let’s see if we are on the same page.

“The idea was to invest to get into the top 10, but the money did not reach the expected level. Now we are once again solving a problem of that lack of investment.

“Each owner manages his club as he wants. Newcastle have everything to be there, in the top eight, but they are not. I hope they do so in the future.”