RAFA BENITEZ insists he is only focused on managing Newcastle United and he is waiting for a decision from above that could determine his future.

The Magpies boss did not reveal the exact details of what he is referring to, although it is known he has sought assurances about transfer budgets and the club’s ambitions before he commits to a new deal.

Benitez is out of contract this summer and supporters are desperate to see him stay at St James’ Park after a week when he has been linked with other jobs, this time in France.

But asked to react to such claims at his pre-match press conference today, Benitez said: “I read a story on March 6, but I was training, having lunch, left at 7-8 in the evening (that day).

“The only club I am speaking about now is Newcastle United and I am waiting for an answer. I am waiting for an answer. We have been talking. I don’t know, honestly (when there will be an answer).”

Newcastle face Crystal Palace on Tyneside on Saturday afternoon and they will have Fabian Schar available again after suspension and concussion. There are doubts over Isaac Hayden, DeAndre Yedlin and Mo Diame and that trip will be monitored over the next 24 hours.

There is a feeling that one more win for either Newcastle - looking for a sixth straight Premier League home win for the first time since 2004 - and Palace will secure safety.

Benitez said: “Palace have won six games away and four at home so they are a very good side away, the reason why is simple. They are well organised, compact, have pace and ability up front and in wide areas. They have pace and mobility.

“Maybe 38 points would be enough, we have to wait now because Cardiff were winning some games before. The main thing for us is not to waste much energy on that, concentrate on our game. If we get 38 points then maybe, but 40 is the target for me.

“We have the feeling in the city that one more win will do, not just in the squad of players, everyone has a feeling of one more win.

“My responsibility is to keep saying we have to try to get three points in this game and then get another three in the next game. We can’t waste time thinking just of numbers.”