Newcastle's Christian Atsu 'very happy' and keen to extend his stay
By Joe Tanner
Last Updated: 23/06/19 12:50pm
Newcastle midfielder Christian Atsu has revealed he wants many more years at St James' Park, with Rafa Benitez being a key reason for his "very happy" stay on Tyneside.
Benitez's Newcastle contract expires next week, with the Spaniard having so far failed to reach an agreement with the Magpies over extending his stay at the club.
Sky Sports News understands he is considering a £12m-a-year offer to manage Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, as talks between the 59-year-old and owner Mike Ashley have proved unsuccessful at this stage.
Ghanaian Atsu initially joined Newcastle permanently from Chelsea in 2017 for £6.2m following a season on loan and his deal expires in 2021.
The central midfielder made 32 appearances in all competitions for the Magpies during the 2018/19 season and says his manager represents a prominent factor in why he wants to remain at the club.
He told footballmadeinghana.com: "I'm very happy at Newcastle and I'm happy with the fans. I'm especially happy with (Rafa) Benitez, the staff and everybody at the club.
"I'd like to stay there as many years as possible but it will depend on me and my performances.
"I just need to do my work, do my job, and as many years as I want I believe I can stay, if I play really good."
Atsu is with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations, with the Black Stars, who begin their campaign against Benin on Tuesday, seeking to end a 37-year wait for a continental title.
On Ghana's chances, Atsu added: "I think if we get all the support we need, we can win it this year. Because, if we don't win it, many people are going to retire. See, that is how Ghana football is going."