Rafa Benitez has batted off rumours he is eyeing a move to Ligue 1.

Thursday night brought reports from France that the Newcastle boss is interested in managing across the channel.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

L’Equipe report that Benitez met with Score Agencies in Manchester last month (March 6th), and that the agency will represent him in France until September 1st.

Speaking to the English press ahead of the game with Crystal Palace, Benitez disputed these claims.

“I read the story. On March 6 I was here training, having lunch, then I left at 7pm or 8pm,” Benitez said, as reported by the Chronicle.

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

(Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

Benitez puts the ball back in Ashley’s court

A defiant response from the manager.

Not only has he denied the French reports, but he has piled the pressure on Mike Ashley to sort his contract situation out.

Benitez had said he wouldn’t comment on his future until Newcastle were safe from relegation. With things looking to be heading that way, he has started to talk.

Not only that, he has told everyone where the land lies.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

If he his waiting for an answer, then Benitez must have put his cards on the table and laid out his demands. It is now up to Ashley to decide whether to meet them.

If he doesn’t, there will be anarchy on Tyneside once again. If Ashley does give Rafa what he wants then we might finally be able to progress as a club.

It is going to be a tense few weeks.

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