Rafa Benitez says Newcastle takeoever talk not distracting team ahead of Crystal Palace match
Last Updated: 20/10/17 3:00pm
Rafa Benitez says Newcastle will not be distracted by takeover talk in their upcoming fixtures, but understands why fans will be "excited".
It is thought several interested parties have come forward after Mike Ashley announced the club is up for sale, including PCP Capital Partners, the company ran by Amanda Staveley, who are thought to be carrying out due diligence after signing a confidentiality agreement with the club's owners.
But Benitez would not be drawn on any possible upturn in fortunes if there was fresh cash injection under new owners.
Newcastle sale edges closer
Amanda Staveley has signed a confidentiality agreement ahead of a potential bid to buy Newcastle.
When asked about talk of a sale, Benitez said: "What do you think I will say? My opinion is quite clear and that is what we have to concentrate on football this weekend.
"I spoke to Lee Charnley (managing director) and he told me he had no news on that. I don't know what will happen in the next three months.
"I am the manager, I concentrate on the football and ensure my players concentrate on what happens in the game against Crystal Palace. The fans will be excited of course but that will not have influence on how I behave."
Takeover or not, Benitez is convinced the club is well placed to become an established force in the Premier league once again.
He said: "We have a good team with young players and they are improving. I am positive in terms of what we can achieve.
"The fans, the club, the potential is massive. If we do well on the pitch, everything is easier."
Benitez confirmed Dwight Gayle is out with a calf injury but Massadio Haïdara is back in training. He also admitted that he wanted to keep Andros Townsend but understood why he wanted to leave in the summer of 2016.
He said: "I had a meeting with him and we spoke. I wanted to keep him. Sometimes the Premier League is too attractive.
"Crystal Palace create chances and have been unlucky with results. It will be a difficult game - we have to try and put pressure on them.
"They have played some good football. They did really well against Chelsea so they will have confidence, but no game is easy."
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