Hello and welcome to the Newcastle United live blog for Saturday, May 25.

Talks between Rafa Benitez and club chiefs are now into their ninth day following an initial face to face meeting in a secret location in London last week.

Those discussions have continued remotely - over the phone and via email - as both parties seek a positive conclusion that will see the Spaniard sign a new deal. Benitez is believed to have respectfully told both Roma and Marseille that his priority is extending his stay at St James' Park.

Elsewhere, the Magpies are set to unveil their new-look academy coaching team with Neil Winskill set to return.

Stick with us for all the latest from St James' Park and remember to follow our Instagram account ( @ChronicleNUFC ) and our NEW transfers Facebook group where you can get notifications to your phone when anything happens.

Salomon Rondon of Newcastle United celebrates at the final whistle

Newcastle United signed Salomon Rondon on loan for the 2018/19 season but there was no permanent move agreed in the original deal. And with his ten-goal season over, Rondon is now back at West Brom.

So what does the future hold?

 

NUFC take a look at Harry Wilson

Newcastle United are interested in Liverpool winger Harry Wilson, who has starred for Derby County in the Championship this season.

22-year-old Wilson ticks plenty of Newcastle’s boxes and boasts the versatility and technical ability that would appeal to Rafa Benitez. He is rated at £25million on the back of two successful loan spells but Liverpool are reported to be considering cashing in on him, like they did with Dominic Solanke and Danny Ward last season.

Wilson is under a long-term contract and the Reds, who have been closely monitoring him at Derby, may opt to make him available for loan again – something that may appeal to United, who will once again look to utilise their loan spots next season if Benitez remains. They signed Salomon Rondon on loan along with Kenedy, whose move proved disastrous.

Wilson is also attracting interest from Leicester and Southampton, while Brighton and Eintracht Frankfurt have been linked with the winger. Derby County will attempt to broker another loan if they are promoted on Monday.

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Harry Wilson of Derby County celebrates scoring the third goal with Mason Bennett during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and West Bromwich Albion
Harry Wilson of Derby County celebrates scoring the third goal with Mason Bennett during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and West Bromwich Albion

PSG extend Thomas Tuchel's contract

Rafa Benitez had been linked with a move to Paris - but that won’t be happening this summer.

I’d like to thank the chairman and the whole club for their trust in me and my staff, Tuchel said after signing a new two-year deal.

This only reinforces my ambition to bring this team to the very top through hard work.

Man United urged to sign Sean Longstaff alternative

Manchester United have been urged to forget about their interest in Newcastle United ace Sean Longstaff by outspoken pundit Robbie Savage.

The former Red Devils academy graduate believes that moving for Longstaff would be the incorrect choice this summer for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - as he outlined why swooping for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish would be better.

Longstaff has been linked with a £25m move to Old Trafford, although Newcastle are firm in their stance that they will not sell the 21-year-old this summer.

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Mexican group linked with Newcastle United confirm they came 'close' to buying an unnamed European side

The chairman of Orlegi Sports Alejandro Irarragorri has confirmed that his company were ‘close’ to buying an unnamed European side before completing a deal for Mexican team Atlas FC.

Reports in Mexico have claimed that club is Newcastle United, with local sources saying Orlegi had discussed a move with Mike Ashley’s representatives. ChronicleLive has not been able to independently verify that at this point but it’s understood that interest does still remain in Newcastle.

Irarragorri made the claim during a press conference as he faced the media for the first time since buying Atlas.

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Wesley Moraes' agent breaks silence on Newcastle interest

What about Newcastle? Are they in the running? Yes, it’s true too, we already had a conversation. But, Rafa Benitez needs to renew his contract, Paulo Nehmy told the Laziali.

The four midfielders who could replace Mohamed Diame

The below names have been scouted using the underlying numbers of Diame from this season in the Premier League who are currently valued at £20m or below and all share or better his attributes in key departments on the pitch.

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Newcastle United midfielder Mo Diame
Newcastle United midfielder Mo Diame (Image: Newcastle Utd via Getty Images)

Obafemi Martins on the lookout for a new club after putting injury nightmare behind him

Obafemi Martins is on the lookout for a new club - having not played since tearing a hamstring while playing for Shanghai Shenhua in April, 2018.

It feels good to be back and it’s important to stay positive ahead of the next phase, he said.

Newcastle players making most of some time off abroad

Ibiza, Hollywood, Switzerland, the Greek Islands and Ghana to name a few destinations!

DeAndre Yedlin making good progress with recovery

The US international had groin surgery earlier this month and will miss the Gold Cup but is making good progress:

The clause Rafa Benitez is insisting on in any new Newcastle United contract

Rafa Benitez’s future remains unresolved moving into a second week but one clause he has insisted is inserted into any new contract is that he will have the final say on whether Newcastle United sign a player or not.

It was not a contractual assurance that his predecessors asked for or were given, but it has been part of Benitez’s existing three-year deal and he wants the same certainty around recruitment for the new contract being discussed.

The club will acquiesce to that request and will not attempt to water down that commitment that the manager’s say-so on deals is final. Previously, the club’s transfer policy was by committee with Lee Charnley and Graham Carr also having an input when Steve McClaren was manager and whether any alternative to Benitez would get the same assurance is open to debate.

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The truth about new claims about Newcastle talks

It’s true that the Newcastle manager thinks the club need a bigger budget than the one put on the table for them to break into the top eight, which is what he believes is their natural habitat. And - based on the noises both he and people close to him made before the talks - he will be pushing them for more than the original proposal put on the table.

But at the same time he’ll be fully aware that £100million – without agent fees or player sales included – is not a position that Newcastle will shift to any time soon.

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Rafa Benitez's fingerprints all over pre-season opposition - despite Asia voyage

Newcastle have confirmed they will play a further two pre-season games after taking part in the Premier League Asia Cup.

The Magpies will head to Easter Road to take on Hibernian on July 30 before welcoming Saint-Etienne to St James’ Park on August 3.

Although Newcastle won’t be returning to Rafa Benitez’s favoured base at Carton House in Ireland, and will only have time to play four friendlies, you can see his stamp on the standard of opposition for the two European fixtures.

In the summer of 2017, for example, Newcastle played Hearts before eventually hosting a curtain-raiser against Verona at St James’ Park. That is a gradual step up in opposition rather and why Newcastle won’t be playing one of Europe’s heavyweights before their first Premier League game of the season.

Newcastle United Manager Rafael Benitez gestures on the pitch during the Newcastle United Training session
Newcastle United Manager Rafael Benitez gestures on the pitch during the Newcastle United Training session

Sean Longstaff doesn't want to leave

Would Sean Longstaff leave NUFC if MUFC put up a big bid? Keith Downie, Sky Sports reporter from the North East, had this to say:

Having spoken to people close to Longstaff, he’s happy here. He wants to stay at Newcastle.

I don’t think in a desperate rush to move. He’s thankful for the opportunity he’s been given and with the likes of Isaac Hayden likely to move on, Jonjo Shelvey possibly moving on, they really need to keep Longstaff because it will leave them very, very short in midfield.

I would be surprised if he moved on this summer, I think he’s still got a lot to do at Newcastle.

Sean Longstaff
Sean Longstaff

NUFC need to get cracking

Watch: Lee Ryder verdict.

Benitez 'wants £100m'

There were claims last night that Rafa Benitez wants “assurances” that he will be given £100m to spend and claiming to have insight into what was discussed in the meeting last week.

Benitez met with the Newcastle board last week, and ​90min has learned that the former ​Liverpool boss has informed the club he wants a guarantee of a £100m budget to take the club forward written into his deal; this excluding money raised through player sales, and not inclusive of player wages.

And although the club are keen to extend Benitez’s stay, there is an unwillingness to bow to his demands, thus the delay in any confirmation. It remains to be seen whether the club will give Benitez what he wants - it remains unlikely - or whether Benitez himself will be given enough assurances to re-sign.

Our verdict? I can’t tell you what others are hearing and while Benitez feels the budget NUFC have offered him isn’t as much as he wants I don’t think he’s daft enough to think demanding £100m for a budget - written into his contract - is going to happen. Benitez sources are saying nothing substantial about the meeting either.

There are issues still to resolve but I think this one is a bit overly dramatic.