Benitez 'waiting for an answer' from Newcastle over his future

Newcastle United is yet to confirm its plans to Rafael Benitez, who has rejected a report he is looking at his options in Ligue 1.

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez.   -  Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Rafael Benitez revealed he is "waiting for an answer" over his future with Newcastle United after dismissing reports he is exploring his options in France.

The Newcastle manager is under contract until the end of the season but it is unclear if he will extend his stay at the Premier League club, having initially joined in March 2016.

A recent story in the French media claimed Benitez met with an agency to look into potential jobs in Ligue 1, though he insisted the report was incorrect as he was in Newcastle at the time of the alleged rendezvous.

However, the Spaniard confirmed he is yet to hear anything from Newcastle over its long-term plans, despite holding talks with the club's hierarchy.

"I read the story," Benitez told the media on Friday. "On March 6 I was here training, having lunch, then I left at seven or eight o'clock.

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"The only club I am talking to about my future is Newcastle and I am waiting for an answer."

Asked when he may get a response, he replied: "I don't know, honestly."

Benitez was speaking ahead of the home game against Crystal Palace, a clash between two teams who know a win will go a long way to securing its place in the Premier League for next season.

Newcastle lost at Arsenal last time out but has won five on the spin in front of its own fans, a key factor for Benitez as he believes his team's current total of 35 points is not enough to maintain its top-flight status.

"I've said previously that 38 points could be enough but now you look at the table and maybe it could take 40 points to be sure," the former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss said.

Fabian Schar is available to face the Eagles after serving a two-game suspension but Benitez confirmed Mohamed Diame, Isaac Hayden and DeAndre Yedlin could be missing.