Rafael Benitez. Picture: Sky Sports

By Oladapo Okeowo

Rafael Benitez has decided to stay at Newcastle United manager after receiving assurances from owner Mike Ashley regarding his plans for next season.

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Benitez had last week led the Magpies back to the English Premier League after a 3-0 over Barnsley won them the Championship title.

He signed a three-year contract last May but signified an intention to leave if he finds his and the club owner’s plans are not in tandem.

According to a club statement, Ashley has pledged that Benitez will “have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season”.

“It was agreed by all parties that the meeting was very positive and constructive. Mike again congratulated Rafa and his team on gaining promotion to the Premier League as champions.

“Plans for next season were discussed, including the purchase and loan of players to add to the squad in readiness for the Premier League season”.

Speaking after the meeting, Mike Ashley said: “I’ve confirmed to Rafa and Lee that they can have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season.”

Benitez added: “I’m pleased with how the meeting went and the positive approach we are all taking together to build on what we have started this season.

“There will be challenges ahead, of course, the summer will not be easy, but the hard work has been going on for some time and we can now continue positively with the development of the squad ahead of the start of the new season. I wish fans an enjoyable summer!”