Benitez was pictured at Darsley Park on Monday, sparking rumours that progress may have been made over his contract talks at Newcastle.
However, despite Charnley’s apparent shock at Benitez turning up, the Chronicle suggest that it was nothing more than a routine visit.
Benitez is still negotiating a contract at Newcastle, with his future very insecure.
The Spanish boss has just over two weeks left on his current deal at St. James’ Park and discussions have reportedly left him concerned.
Benitez has expressed a willingness to stay on at Newcastle, but he is said to fear that he will be given even less control over transfers if he does.
Unless that changes, Benitez may opt not to extend his new deal, and Newcastle are believed to be prepared to put Neil Redfearn in charge on a temporary basis if that happens.
Benitez not staying on at Newcastle should be seen as a major blow, and the club should be doing everything in their power to stop that from happening.
But Newcastle seemingly are fairly unwilling to change their approach to transfers, and Mike Ashley risks facing a backlash unless he does find a compromise.
If Benitez does walk out on Newcastle, it’ll be almost impossible for them to find a better manager who would be prepared to join them.
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