Benitez refuses to rule out possibility of quitting as Newcastle manager amid transfer woes

Benitez might still resign from the managerial post at Newcastle before the end of the season

Rafael Benitez has refused to rule out the possibility of quitting as the manager of Newcastle United before the end of the season, with the tension growing over the club’s lack of transfer activity in the mid-season trading period.

The former Liverpool manager no longer has a clause in his contract that would force him to pay a compensation should he step down from the helm of affairs.

The Magpies netted a profit of £20 million for striker Aleksandar Mitrovic in the summer but Fulham are expected to pay the fee in instalments.

However, it is understood that Benitez is very much frustrated by Mike Ashley’s refusal to sanction any big-money transfer signings, with the club languishing in the bottom half, just a couple of points clear of the relegation zone.

While the manager has not ruled out the possibility of resigning, he is entirely focussed on getting the best result from the game against Manchester City.

“I came here and decided to stay [as manager] in the Championship because I can see the potential of the club,” said Benitez ahead of a daunting home test against champions Manchester City. “I will try to do my best until the last minute.

“I am a professional and I want to do things well. I decided to stay in the Championship, to do my job and finish my job in the way that I like to do things. I have some principles and I will try to do things properly.”

Asked whether he could guarantee he would not quit before his contract expires in June, Benitez replied: “No, I cannot guarantee anything. I guarantee I will be focussed and try to do my best every minute [I am here].

“I have not considered leaving, I am just focused on preparing for the Manchester City game. It’s what I have to do

“Again, it’s very simple. I decided to stay [in 2016]. I had the support of the fans and we were doing well. I will try to do the same, and all these things, until the last minute. And that’s it.

“I am the manager with the responsibility to get the best from these players, and I will try to do that. I’m focused on trying to keep the team in Premier League.”

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