Newcastle United supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side ease past fellow Premier League strugglers Southampton 3-0 last time out to move five points clear of danger.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their clash with the Saints off the back of a 2-0 defeat at Liverpool in their preceding league outing, a result which while not overly unexpected did see them slip to 16th place in the division. Yet the Magpies put further distance between themselves and the bottom three as a brace from January signing Kenedy alongside a Matt Ritchie strike sealed a routine victory for the North East giants, thus moving them five points clear of the bottom three with just eight games of the campaign remaining.
Subsequently, there have been many delighted Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, and they are likely to be very intrigued by a recent report from The Independent, which suggests that manager Benitez is willing to pen a new deal with the club, although will wait to do so until they are safe from relegation.
The Spaniard took over at St James’ Park back in 2016 but was unable to keep the Magpies in the top-flight, although stuck with the club and led them to the Championship title last term to immediately bounce back to the top tier.
And while his side took a giant step towards safety by beating Southampton last weekend, they are still just five points clear of danger, and as such relegation still remains a genuine possibility with just eight matches of the season left.
And reports suggest that Benitez is purely focusing on trying to keep Newcastle in the top-flight, as he has reportedly put any contract talks regarding his own future on the back burners until their top tier status is secure.
Yet it will come as good news to Newcastle fans to note that the Spaniard is reportedly showing a ‘willingness’ to ‘negotiate’ a new deal, and with the same message reportedly coming from the hierarchy, it’s a deal which looks set to take place at some stage in the near future.
Landlord’s verdict: Rafa Benitez has done an excellent job at Newcastle since he took over in 2016, and while he couldn’t keep them in the Premier League upon his arrival, there’s little doubt that things would be on the up were they to stave off relegation this season.
And it appears that staying up is all the 57-year-old is focusing on, as reports suggest that he is even putting his own contract talks on the back burners until their top-flight status is secure, given they are only five points clear of danger with eight games to go.
Benitez is reportedly keen on extending his stay at St James’ Park, and our resident Newcastle fans are certainly hoping he does given that he is the calibre of manager who can take the club to the next level in the years to come.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!