'We all want him to stay' - Newcastle captain Lascelles hopes Benitez signs new contract

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Jordan Mansfield
The Magpies boss is due to start talks with owner Mike Ashley this week about his future at St James' Park

Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles says he hopes the club can keep current boss Rafa Benitez at St James' Park.

The Spaniard is holding talks with Newcastle's owner Mike Ashley about his future at the club this week.

Rumours have been circulating that Benitez is unhappy at the club, and that he feels under-appreciated after his efforts in stabilising Newcastle in the Premier League under a limited transfer budget, but Lascelles is anxious for him to stay on.

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Lascelles told Chronicle Live: "You just need to look at his history. His stats do the talking,

"We finished first in the Championship, then 10th in the Premier League without spending a lot of money, and more points this time without spending money.

"It's important as players we had someone like that. He dug us out of a bad situation. He's a perfectionist; even in training everything has to be right.

"The players think the same [as the fans]. We all want him to stay. Since he has been here, he's been great. Hopefully we can sort some business out and tie him down.

"We don't have a clue whether he's staying or going. It's not down to us, but hopefully he stays."

Benitez joined the Magpies in 2016, replacing Steve McClaren, after spells at Real Madrid, Napoli, and Chelsea, as well as a six-year stay at Liverpool where he guided them to Champions League glory in 2005.

Lascelles’ comments come on the back of his team-mate Matt Ritchie’s support for Benitez to remain as manager of Newcastle.

When asked if the players wanted Benitez to stay, Ritchie admitted they were 100 per cent behind him, saying: "Yeah, of course. It's out of our hands. We can't affect it but it is down to the manager and the board.

“There is no secret the manager has been fantastic since he has arrived. 

“Hopefully he can stay and we can continue to create a good team, and look forward to the future with hope.”

Newcastle rounded off the season with a 4-0 away victory over relegated Fulham which ensured Benitez’s side finished the campaign in 13th position in the Premier League with 45 points.

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