Rafael Benitez responds to rumours about Spain job and Newcastle future

The Magpies manager has confirmed he intends to still be in charge of the club next season, no matter what the division.

Rafael Benitez has spoken out on the speculation about his future by telling reporters, as quoted by the Chronicle, that he intends to be at Newcastle next season, and has hinted that he could remain at St. James' Park for the long term.

Reports earlier this week suggested that Benitez was in line to take over as manager of Spain when Vicente del Bosque steps down after Euro 2016, with the current national team coach tipping the Magpies man as his potential successor.

That led to speculation that the former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss would leave Newcastle at the end of the season regardless of whether or not he kept the club in the Premier League, with the 55-year-old reportedly having a release clause in his three-year contract if the North East side go down.

However, conflicting reports then emerged that Benitez was ready to turn down any interest from his country to remain with the club that he only joined four weeks ago for the foreseeable future.

Now, the man himself has spoken out on this week's press talk and has confirmed that it is his full intention to remain in the dugout at St. James' Park next season, regardless of what division the club will be playing in.

When asked directly about his future by reporters, Benitez responded, as quoted by the Chronicle: "I am Newcastle United manager and want to be here next year.

"I want to be here a while. I have confidence we can stay in the Premier League."

The appointment of Benitez as Steve McClaren's replacement last month was seen as both a coup for the club and huge risk to the reputation of the man who has won the Champions League, two Europa League titles, and two La Liga titles in his managerial career.

However, it is looking increasingly unlikely that if he does indeed stay on at the club he will be leading them out in the Championship, which would be the first time he has coached in second-tier football since leading Tenerife to promotion 15 years ago.

Following their last-minute defeat to Norwich City last Saturday, the Magpies are six points adrift of safety with just seven matches remaining ahead of their trip to Southampton this weekend.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch