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Rafa Benitez has admitted that moves have been made to keep him at Newcastle beyond the end of next season, and spoke about being proud that his management record has seen him linked to the Arsenal job.
Asked by Spanish radio if he saw himself at Newcastle for many more seasons, Benitez said: ‘Yes, in principal we are relaxed. We have one more year of contract and now the board are trying that we talk a little bit about the future because the talk now is always about “projects”.
‘With so much investment it is increasingly difficult but they want to link us to the club for more time so that we can make a stronger team if possible.’
Benitez’s Newcastle beat Arsenal at the weekend and stories followed suggesting he should be the man to replace Arsene Wenger at the end of the season. The Spaniard, who turned 58 on Monday, was first asked about the Arsenal stories.
He said: ‘The fact that you get linked, it is something positive because it makes you proud of your career trajectory.
‘People in England are conscious of the fact that experience in the Premier League is important and, what is more, you go to other competitions and other leagues and win as well.
They see that experience, when a team is struggling to get into the top four, with that experience – the coaches who while they are still young, because 58 for a coach is still young – they know the Premier League, and they know what it is to compete, what it is to win, that is what they value.
‘There are people that talk about “Young coaches and we give them time”, but when a club wants to win quickly what they want is results and results with people who have been here for a while and know what the Premier League is and how difficult it can be.’
Asked about the win over Arsenal that saw Newcastle cement their place in the top ten, Benitez said: ‘The players deserve huge credit for coming up from the Championship and, with not a great deal of resources compared with others, have the season they are having.