Alan Shearer doesn't buy Mike Ashley's very defensive end of season statement

Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United walks off the pitch after being sent off during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on February 3

Benitez has celebrated some huge successes during his career, most notably when he led Liverpool to Champions League glory in Istanbul, but he regards this season's successful survival campaign as one of his most notable achievements.

Shelvey appeared to have played himself into contention for a seat on the plane to Russian Federation with his recent form for Newcastle - with club legend Alan Shearer championing the Magpies ace's return to the England side.

Asked about the link with Napoli, he told calcionapoli24.it: "My future?"

"On many occasions throughout the season, they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory".

However, a takeover bid by Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners broke down in January and although Newcastle are still for sale, it is understood the price-tag has increased with another season of the Premier League's riches secured. My priority is to stay in England.

The season also ended on a high at St James', with Rafa Benitez' men beating top-four chasing Chelsea 3-0.

More news: Eleven Premier League records Manchester City smashed in title-winning season

"My people are talking with Lee and I don't know how close they are". That means having the right quality, the right mentality and the right level through the whole season, not just for some performances.

"And the fans, the atmosphere here is togetherness, the relationship, the players they care, the manager, the staff, working together trying to achieve what we want to achieve".

However, Benitez will not be penning a new deal until he has received some clarification about his transfer budget for the summer, and the extent to which he will be allowed to spend the money as he sees fit. That is the way to improve things.

"Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him".

Has Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez given hope to Everton and West Ham of signing him?

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