Rafael Benitez "confident" of being backed by owner Mike Ashley

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Rafael Benitez reveals that he decided to stay at Newcastle United, despite interest from China, because he has been given permission to spend big on new recruits.

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has said that he is "confident" owner Mike Ashley will stick to his promise of financially backing him during the remainder of the transfer window.

The Magpies have endured a frustrating off-season thus far, bringing in just Christian Atsu and Florian Lejeune for a combined fee of around £15m since earning promotion back to the Premier League.

Benitez is said to have missed out on a number of his other targets, including Tammy Abraham and Willy Caballero, but he believes that he made the right choice by staying at St James' Park - turning down interest from Far East suitors in doing so - as he has been given the green light to spend big.

"When I had the meeting with Mike we were talking about the money he would give us for doing the signings," The Mirror quotes him as saying. "The budget was fine. We have the resources to do what we want to do – but now we have to do it.

"I cannot talk about why signings have not yet happened – but I can say that I am still confident that Mike will keep his word. I decided to stay because it is a massive club, because of the fans, and also so that I could stay in England and be close to my family.

"I could have gone somewhere else and made more money. If you go to China you can make a lot of money. But I stayed – and now it is my priority for Newcastle to stay in the Premier League and do well.

"I asked the question to Mike if I can spend all the money on one player or if I must spend it on many players. He said that the budget is mine and I can do what I want with the numbers he has given me. It is the same with wages. We still have time to buy players until the end of next month and I am confident that we will do it."

Newcastle are on the verge of completing the signing of Jacob Murphy from Norwich City, with the winger undergoing a medical close to their Dublin training camp on Tuesday afternoon.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez dreams of Istanbul ahead of his side's Premier League meeting with Manchester City on April 19, 2016
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