Rafael Benitez says it is business as usual at Newcastle amid sale talks
By Alice Piper
Last Updated: 04/12/18 3:28pm
Rafael Benitez says it is "business as usual" at Newcastle, despite owner Mike Ashley announcing talks over a sale of the club are at a "more progressed stage" than ever.
On Monday, Ashley told Sky News he wants to sell before the January transfer window, more than a year after he officially put the Premier League club up for sale.
Benitez says he is concentrating only on Wednesday night's Premier League trip to Everton, but admitted he was not expecting Monday's comments from Ashley.
"We have been in this position in the past. We have to carry on. We have an important game to play and we have to focus on that," Benitez said.
"I was talking today with Lee Charnley and the message is very clear - it is business as usual.
"We have had this before and we have to concentrate on the game. For us, it is really business as usual."
After a difficult start to the season, three consecutive victories in November moved the Magpies out of the relegation zone, but that winning run was halted on Saturday with a 3-0 defeat to West Ham.
Benitez says the club are actively working towards strengthening in the January transfer window and has spoken to managing director Lee Charnley about prospective signings.
"We have been working about that. We will continue working with the same idea," the Spaniard said.
"For us, it doesn't change anything. We have to look for our targets and just be ready for January 1."