Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez admitted the speculation regarding his future is no clearer after a final day 3-0 win over Chelsea.
Benitez’ men bossed the game from start to finish as a first-half goal from Dwight Gayle and a second-half brace from Ayoze Perez capped off a terrific campaign for the Magpies with a top 10 place.
For large parts of the game, the Geordie faithful dedicated the afternoon to Benitez – like they did against Tottenham Hotspur two years ago – in the hope the Spaniard will remain in the dugout next season.
And with discussions ongoing with Benitez and United hierarchy about his demands for next season, the former Liverpool boss stated he is unsure “how close we are”.
When questioned about his future at St James’ Park, Benitez responded: “I will say that I am really pleased today and I will try to enjoy then see how the conversations go!
“I told you three weeks ago that I want to do things sooner rather than later. Still, we are talking so we will see.
“My people are talking with Lee and I don’t know how close they are. They will be around – maybe they will be talking.
“At the moment, it is just to be sure we know how close we are and carry on.
“Still I have one-year left on my contract so it’s different.
“Now we have to be sure that we do the right things and then what I have said so many times – we need to be on the same page.
“The fans, they have ambitions, we have ambitions. We need to know if everyone has the same ambitions. The potential is there.”
Benitez on fans signing his name
The Magpies, who confirmed their Premier League survival with five games, collected their first top 10 top-flight finish for the first time since the 2013/ 14 season.
And despite the home fans singing the name of Benitez, he was keen to dedicate the season to his players.
“Maybe this achievement will be close the top trophies which I have won but I wouldn’t say it is more or less than this or the other one but I really proud of this achievement.
“[I’m] really proud of that [fans singing his name] but especially because of the team – you cannot sing the name of the manager when the team are doing that.
“In this case I think the players what they did last season, what they did this year is massive.
“And the fans, the atmosphere here is togetherness, the relationship, the players they care, the manager, the staff, working together trying to achieve what we want to achieve.”