The Spaniard’s hopes of having his business done by January 20 were dashed weeks ago and, with moves for Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge having fallen by the wayside, he faces the prospect of ending a frustrating month with only Chelsea midfielder Kenedy having arrived on loan.
Benitez has always been confident the Magpies could stay up if they signed the men he identified in the list he gave owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley at the beginning of the month, and admits his task will be all the more difficult if that mission again fails.
However, asked about his future on the eve of tonight’s vital Premier League clash with Burnley, he said: “My future is very simple and very clear: Still, we have one day for doing business. After that, still we can analyse where we are, but I don’t think that will change too much, because I have a responsibility to the fans, to the players, to the club.
“I understand. I have been here for a while and I understand the feelings of everyone, but it’s like this, so we have to be sure that if we go there, I am the first one that will push and give everything and then that will be an example to the players too.”
Benitez held crisis talks with Ashley yesterday morning, as the club’s business again came down to another late rush, with their top targets having disappeared from view.
He said: “It is not the ideal situation, when you have been working for months, preparing names and analysing players.
“Then, you go to January 1 with a list of players and then you start with the names, the main targets that you have and after, you have to go to the 31st and you’re waiting for a phone call from someone else.
“It means that something is wrong.”