'Pantomime villain' Mike Ashley makes transfer pledge to Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez

Moyes leaves West Ham after short spell

The defender is being tipped for a call-up to England's World Cup squad but Benitez says Newcastle are unlikely to sell their star man this summer.

Lascelles, whose side take on Chelsea in their final league game on Sunday, told Sports Saturday: "I can't emphasise how important it is".

Rafa Benitez wants Kenedy back on loan at the club after the excellent spell he had at St James' Park when arriving in January. "For him, it was massive to be sure that they could be in the Champions League".

"We were all working together to achieve what we wanted to achieve, which is success for the club".

"When you're flicking through Twitter or people say there's rumours about this, that and the other you're aware of it but I don't take any notice".

At a time when Mike Ashley seems pretty intent on doing all he can to undermine Rafa, I think it is fair to point out that as far as value for money signings go, Rafa Benitez is Mike Ashley's best.

"I would like to thank Rafa Benitez for his magnificent achievement this season", Ashley wrote in a statement released after the game. I would also like to applaud the players, led fantastically by the captain Jamaal Lascelles.

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It sounds so simple and yet for so many years at Newcastle United we have lacked that very basic attitude.

"On many occasions throughout the season, they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory".

At the start of season, when asked about the lack of signings that had been made, Rafa said: "This summer I was expecting other things, but OK, we don't have those things so now we have to move forward".

And the winger, on a half-season loan from Chelsea, said goodbye to United fans after the game through a message on his Instagram account.

'The transfer window is now very expensive, and you also have to invest in the academy and the training facilities, all these things to enable you to attract players'.

The speculation regarding the future of Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has been vast in the past few months and with his disappointing results, it might be the right time for Chelsea to finally consider sacking the former Juventus manager. I don't know how we will finish but that is not the case.

Newcastle will run out on Sunday desperate to avoid a fifth successive defeat at the end of a creditable season.

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