Rafa Benitez could be set to leave Newcastle due to not being backed by Mike Ashley in January
Rafa Benitez is demanding answers after owner Mike Ashley failure to back him in the January transfer window.
Benitez could decide to walk away in the summer even if he wins promotion back to the Premier League if he feels the board no longer share his vision for the club.
The Spaniard was left disappointed and feeling badly let down when the club failed to re-sign Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace.
He had expected his squad to be strengthened and remains mystified at an apparent change in direction inside the boardroom with Ashley taking on a more prominent role again.
Though he was backed in the summer transfer market following relegation, Benitez had been led to believe that with the £30m Newcastle received from Tottenham for Moussa Sissoko still in the kitty, significant funds would be made available last month.
Benitez reckons Ashley no longer shares the same vision as him at the club
The Newcastle boss remains confident his side will still win promotion from the Championship but thinks they have made it needlessly harder for themselves, especially since most of their rivals invested in reinforcements.
And while he chose his words carefully, it was clear he is angry and upset at recent developments inside the club.
The 56-year-old former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss agreed to stay on last May after being given cast-iron assurances by Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley.
Those included no player leaving the club unless Benitez agreed, Ashley handing him a sizeable transfer budget and the manager, unlike his recent predecessors, having the final say on all transfers.
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Benitez was left disappointed after failing to re-sign Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace
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The Toon boss still enjoys a good relationship with Charnley but feels something has changed upstairs and cannot understand why.
Benitez remains one of Europe's most sought-after coaches with a distinguished managerial CV.
Clubs in China courted him before he committed himself to Newcastle and would do so again if he became available.
In an ideal world, Benitez wants to stay in the north east and become the manager who re-establishes Newcastle as a major force.