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Rafael Benitez refuses to rule out Newcastle exit

Rafa Benitez
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Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez refused to give any guarantees that he will remain in charge until the end of the season.

The Magpies have endured a difficult second campaign back in the Premier League following a lack of new signings over the summer transfer window.

Currently, Newcastle find themselves just two points above the relegation zone and suffered early exits in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.

Adding to their woes is the failed attempts to recruit new talent in this month’s transfer window after loan deals for Atletico Madrid’s Gelson Martins and Lazio’s Jordan Lukaku fell through.

This has left many wondering what will come of Benitez’s own future at St James’ Park with the Spaniard out of contract at the end of the season and having previously expressed his frustrations over the club’s transfer policy.

Speaking ahead to tonight’s home game against Premier League champions Manchester City, Benitez admitted he isn’t sure there will any new signings arriving before Thursday’s deadline.

“I am not in charge of the deals,” said Benitez, according to Daily Mirror.

The former Liverpool boss could leave Newcastle without having to pay any compensation and hinted last week that this month’s transfer activity could have a key impact on whether or not to sign a renewal.

“No, I cannot guarantee anything,” replied Benitez, when asked if he could leave before the end of the season.

“I guarantee I will be focussed and try to do my best every minute.”

As for leaving on Thursday, he added: “We will wait until Thursday and see what happens.

“Hopefully we can get three points against Manchester City and then everybody will be happy.”

Newcastle ended a five-match winless run in the Premier League last time out by grabbing a crucial 3-0 win over relegation rivals Cardiff City.

Benitez will be hoping that his side can take some badly needed momentum from that victory ahead of tonight’s encounter with City that will begin at 21:00 (CET).