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He said: "I think this week, maybe there will be another conversation and we will see where we are for the next week".

Benitez tried to shake things up, perhaps too drastically.

"The players care, and the manager and staff and everybody".

For a club however that won their much-desired undecima in the previous year, the Madridistas would not endure a perhaps slight dip in results for a longer-term gain.

Newcastle would do brilliantly to swoop for Blind this summer, as the 52-cap global would provide Benitez with quality cover in several different positions.

It's safe to say that Alan Shearer doesn't trust Mike Ashley.

Christian Atsu and Ciaran Clark are both ruled out through injury, loan striker Islam Slimani is suspended and winger Kenedy has played his final game of his temporary spell on Tyneside, unable to feature against his parent side.

"People say we wouldn't gel together and we're a Championship side, well if that's the case then the manager has got us all together and we're sat in the middle of the table".

Daniel Ricciardo expects pre-race warning from Christian Horner on Sunday morning
It's just all a bit more painful for us. "After that I could settle down and concentrate on my own race". It completely changes the philosophy of the auto because the front wing will be wider and different.

Newcastle are safe. The task for Rafa Benitez going into this campaign was simple, keep them up.

After Newcastle closed out their season in style with a 3-0 victory over last year's champions, Chelsea, Ashley issued a statement in which he announced his hope that Benitez would remain in charge at St James' Park.

Ready for another super club?

"For him, it was massive to be sure that they could be in the Champions League". For the unbelievable support and your presence every single game. "Whoever he decides to go for, it's up to him and congratulations to the players who do go".

So the question remains whether Benitez would want, if offered the chance, to manage another European supergiant?

The Spaniard had made it well known that he was working on a small budget and had to manoeuvre wisely in the market.

A self-titled big club paradoxically without a major trophy since 1969, it is the natural next step for Benitez to take.

Lascelles has been outstanding in the heart of Benitez's defence this season. If not, who does?