​​Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez gave up a summer holiday to push through transfer deals at the club, but still refuses to sign a new five-year contract until he has assurances owner Mike Ashley will back him.

According to the MirrorBenitez wants Ashley to demonstrate he is willing to smash the club’s long standing transfer record this summer before the Spaniard will put pen to paper.


After guiding the Magpies to a 10th place finish in the league, Benitez was lauded by fans but understands that the end of the season could have been very different.

He is seeking significant improvements to his squad ahead of the new campaign, and has presented Ashley, through managing director Lee Charnley, a thorough and extensive list of targets.

Benitez admits it has been 'a difficult transfer window so far' for Newcastle. So far, the club have brought in two new players.

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South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung joined on a free transfer, while goalkeeper Martin Dubravka - who was on loan at the Magpies in the second half of last season - signed for £4m.

Newcastle's record transfer fee remains the £16m they paid out to ​Real Madrid for former England striker Michael Owen, back in 2005.

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According to reports, Benitez has been told the club have lodged bids this summer, including a potential record-breaking £20m for Nice striker Alassane Plea, but nothing has been finalised.

As a result, Benitez has been left frustrated and in no mood to sign a new five-year deal, meaning he could go into the upcoming season with just 12 months of his original deal remaining.

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The Spaniard's frustrations haven't been helped by news that Real Sociedad are expected to activate midfielder ​Mikel Merino's £10m release clause, while winger Matt Ritchie is a £15m target for relegated ​Stoke City.

While these transfers would provide the Magpies boss with some additional funds in the transfer kitty, Benitez wants assurances that he will be backed when it comes to bringing replacements and improvements to Tyneside.