Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has insisted that he wants to concentrate on ensuring the club maintain their Premier League status this season, and won’t be distracted by contract talks.

Once again, the former Real Madrid manager has endured a frustrating transfer window in which he wasn’t able to strengthen as much as he’d have liked to.

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The Spaniard cooly played down negative talk about the club’s transfer business, but when asked about whether his own personal contract situation would become a distraction, Benitez was quick to dismiss such claims.

As reported by the Belfast Telegraph, Benitez said:

I don’t think so.

We have time to do things and I don’t need to explain at every press conference that we have talked. We know now is the time to relax a little bit and concentrate on the games. Then we have plenty of time to talk about that.

It is not the right time to talk about that. I am happy here. I want to be sure that we can compete. We start tomorrow. That is it.

Despite fans in general appearing disappointed in the lack of transfer business on Tyneside this summer, Benitez, along with Lee Charnley and Jamaal Lascelles, put their name to a statement that claimed they believe the squad is now stronger than it was last year. The statement said:

Doing good business in a transfer window is about ending the window clearly stronger than when you started and we believe we have done this.

The view we all share is that we have a better squad now than the one that finished 10th last season and all involved have worked tirelessly to make this happen.