RAFA BENITEZ believes Newcastle United’s recruitment intentions this summer will not be massively affected by the delays in him sorting out his own future at St James’ Park.

Whether or not the Spaniard will be on Tyneside beyond his contract that expires on June 30 remains a hot topic, with a state of limbo while he waits to hear if his demands are met before signing an extension.

The situation is far from ideal with only two Premier League matches remaining and the Magpies safe in the knowledge that top-flight football will be played at St James’ for the third year in a row.

Newcastle’s scouting staff have worked with Benitez on who could be targeted when the transfer window opens in the summer, but a plan can’t be finalised until they are clear on who is in charge.

This week has led to suggestions that Venezuelan Jan Hurtado has been watched closely while playing for Gimnasia y Esgrima, with a £7.5m move mentioned despite interest on him from West Brom and Dortmund.

Besiktas midfielder Dorukhan Tokoz, 22, is another being talked up as a potential midfielder addition ahead of a period when Newcastle could lose Jonjo Shelvey, Mo Diame and Isaac Hayden from the midfield area.

Benitez is also known to be a big fan of midfielfders Tom Cairney and Aaron Mooy, who have both been relegated from the Premier League with Fulham and Huddersfield respectively. That particular duo will receive strong interest from the top-flight after their impressive performances in recent years.

But the Newcastle boss insists that his own future is not the only factor to consider when it comes down to trying to bring in new signings this summer at Newcastle.

He said: “It is important to do business early, especially with the prices in the market, so you try to do things early, but you cannot always do that anyway.

“Teams are waiting, they are needing to know if they are in Europe at this stage of the season, so sometimes you have to wait, that’s even the same with teams in other countries, not just here. We have to be ready to do what we want to do when the right opportunity comes along.”

Benitez has been in touch with Newcastle’s managing director on a number of occasions in recent weeks for updates and to discuss a way forward. At this stage fans are still waiting for a breakthrough and it looks set to rumble on until after the final two matches.

Newcastle face title contenders Liverpool at St James’ Park on Saturday night. Benitez said: “Everyone wants to know what is next. For anyone in football, when the competition is so big with a lot of money, it is important to go early, so we know where we are.

“Hopefully we will sort everything but we have to wait and I have to concentrate on that. We will have to talk again.”

Newcastle will head into the visit of Liverpool knowing they are already safe and looking to finish with two wins to climb as high up the table as they can, even if a repeat of last season’s tenth place finish is out of reach.

Asked when the turning point of the season was, Benitez said: “It can more or less one game, one situation. It was the belief we could do it that we could carry on after a disappointing start.

“We analysed with a lot of players during the season, as a club and individually, and how close we were in many games, like Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea … if you are very close you can draw or you can win easily.

“People talk about expansive football, but with our numbers in the squad we have balance, we can attack and we have chances but at the same time we have defend well more often than not.”