Alan Shearer reacts to Mike Ashley's end of season statement at Newcastle

Antonio Conte's Chelsea Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are live on Sky Sports on Sunday

Antonio Conte's Chelsea Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are live on Sky Sports on Sunday

Benitez said: "If we want to achieve something, we have to understand the way to do that".

Benitez guided newly-promoted Newcastle to 10th in the Premier League having relied largely on loan signings and the players who won the Championship the season previously after being denied significant transfer funds by owner Mike Ashley.

Newcastle wrapped up the season with an impressive 3-0 home victory over a dejected Chelsea side on Sunday afternoon.

The club's owner, in a statement, also said that he "hoped" Benitez - who has a year left on his contract - will stay at St James's Park.

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If this is Antonio Conte's final Premier League game as Chelsea manager there will be a collective shrugging of shoulders in west London, but the prospect of Rafa Benitez leaving Newcastle United sends a shudder of fear across Tyneside. "I would also like to applaud the players, led fantastically by the captain Jamaal Lascelles".

The record books will show a top half finish for Newcastle United in 2017/18 and the supporters are understandably ecstatic with that.

Benitez wants assurances over Ashley's ambition for the future before committing himself, but amid speculation linking him with former employers Napoli, Everton and Leicester, is adamant that the Magpies are now his only focus. "I'm only talking to Newcastle right now".

Ashley has now released another statement, without word from Benitez, echoing his earlier support of the manager and his stance when it comes to investment.

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"My future? I've heard so much talk, but I haven't spoken to De Laurentiis: I have a contract with Newcastle, I'm talking to them about my renewal".

He said: 'Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.

"What the players did last season and what they have done this season is massive, and the fans appreciate this togetherness, that relationship we have created". "I'm sure we can do better".

All these things to enable you to attract players, all these things can make a difference.

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