Benitez delivers end-of-season ultimatum to Ashley

Newcastle United's English defender Jamaal Lascelles clears from Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne during the English Premier League football match between

Ashley's plea for Benitez to remain on Tyneside came in a statement issued within hours of the final whistle in his side's 3-0 victory over Chelsea on Sunday, which ended a run of four successive defeats and secured a 10th-place Premier League finish.

"But it's different. You need to talk to the player and then decide".

It is bad enough during the football season but now the matches have finished, we know for sure that the media will be ramping things up when it comes to transfer stories.

Benitez was also asked about former Newcastle target Pepe Reina - who was his goalkeeper at Liverpool and who signed under the boss in Naples - and his view on the Spaniard wanting to leave Napoli.

There is a clear intention to increase the all-round quality of player at St. James' Park, with many of these squad members present during the club's Championship-winning season. "You have to have a squad to compete".

He has been one of the Toon's brightest stars this season and has impressed with his passing ability - something which would be welcomed in a Three Lions team which has, at times, look stunted in attack.

"You need competition to approach any game you want to win". It can not be the case that if you miss one or two players, the team is not the same.

"[I'm] really proud of that [fans singing his name] but especially because of the team - you can not sing the name of the manager when the team are doing that". "In this case, what the players did last season and what they have done this year was massive".

'If we want to achieve something, we have to understand the way to do that.

Benitez may therefore shop around in the Premier League for players who are set to leave their clubs this summer, and there looks to be a golden opportunity to bring in an worldwide defender on the cheap.

"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".

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