RAFAEL BENITEZ had a transfer window crisis call with Mike Ashley yesterday morning, before reassuring supporters he has a “responsibility” to keep Newcastle United in the Premier League this season regardless of what happens on deadline day.

The Magpies remain too close to the relegation zone for comfort and Benitez – who claimed his relationship with Ashley is “fine” - is desperate to see a couple more signings arrive before the window closes at 11pm tonight.

Benitez has admitted he has had to “add to the list” of names he handed to Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley at the beginning of the month having suffered frustration in his pursuit of fresh faces.

Newcastle, who have refused to reach the £20m mark for Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen and have been snubbed by Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge in favour of a move to West Brom, are ready to make a fresh move for Leicester’s Islam Slimani today.

Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala is also on the radar, although having already signed Brazilian winger Kenedy on loan there are rules that stipulate only one more Premier League loan is allowed. The Foxes are seeking £20m for Slimani.

Benitez would also like a new goalkeeper, and there was nothing seemingly on the cards when Benitez chatted yesterday even though he did suggest he was “confident” things could happen after talking with Ashley.

Newcastle fans fear there will be no good news on the transfer front today, having been left frustrated on numerous occasions before under Ashley’s reign – including last year when Benitez was wanting Andros Townsend.

There are also concerns that Benitez could walk if he doesn’t get new players today.

But the Spaniard 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, with the players, with the club so it is not just personal with people, names, a lot of people around.

“I have had the same situation a few years ago when I was at Liverpool and Real Madrid approached me. I gave my word to the players that I would stay. Sometimes, you just have to say ‘OK, I will do what I have to do.’

“I have the belief and confidence that even in the more difficult circumstances, still we can stay up and we try to think about that but hopefully, we will have something coming before the end of the transfer window and feel much better and we have three points.”

Benitez rarely changes his relaxed demeanour in front of the media and that was the case yesterday despite the clock ticking and knowing Newcastle face Burnley at St James’ Park tonight. If he was frustrated, he did a good job in disguising it.

“Again I will say, I will not change anything,” said Benitez. “I understand, I have been here for a while and I understand the feelings of everyone. I am the first one that will like to do things in another way and then to be sure that everything that we have done is right and make the right decisions.

“We are trying to do things. There’s the way, there’s another way, but we are trying to do things and sometimes it depends on a phone call, a meeting and then one player is doing a deal, and that means they have to move another player. Sometimes it is that.

“It is not the ideal situation, when you have been working for months, preparing names and analysing players and then you go to January 1 with a list of players and then you start with the names, the main target that you have.

“And after you have to go to the 31st and waiting for a phone call from someone else, it means that something is wrong. But we cannot change what is going on here for a while, what I can try is to do my best now.”

Sturridge, despite his attacking quality, was not even at the top of Benitez’s list, but Newcastle did do what they could to bring him in only to be overlooked because the Liverpool striker wanted to move closer to his Midlands roots.

Newcastle are looking to move players on and deals could go down to the wire for Jack Colback, Rolando Aarons and Aleksndar Mitrovic. The latter is the most difficult one to conclude because Benitez would like to sell him (for £15m) but feels he can’t without bringing in a replacement.

But with a home game on the agenda tonight, Benitez does not want anything to distract his players from the challenge ahead.

Benitez, who said West Ham target Jonjo Shelvey is going nowhere, said: “I am the manager and my priority is to concentrate on the football issues.

“I want to concentrate on the game. If we bring more players in, we are going to be stronger. If we cannot do that, I have to be sure that we go into every game believing we can win. We will try to do that tomorrow.

“I understand (fans being downbeat) everything because I have been here for a while but at the same time, I know my responsibilities. That is to be sure the team is in the best condition to approach any game.”

Benitez is planning to hand Kenedy his first appearance tonight but wouldn’t confirm whether it would be from the start or the bench.

NEWCASTLE: Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Lascelles, Dummett; Diame, Shelvey; Ritchie, Perez, Atsu, Joselu.