Newcastle United have been given a huge boost in their chances or persuading Rafa Benitez to continue as manager, after Valencia announced Pako Ayesteran has signed a two-year deal to stay on as manager.

Ayesteran picked up the mess left behind by Gary Neville earlier this year, and overseen an improvement that has led to him being handed the reigns full-time.

The news means a return to Valencia for Benitez is now a no-go, which removes one possible club that could have tempted him to ditch the Championship for a club that he is regarded as a legend at.

Rafa won't be going back to Valencia

Rafa won’t be going back to Valencia

Benitez has held talks with Newcastle officials in the past couple of weeks and everything has gone as well as can be hoped, as the Spaniard proposes a plan to return Newcastle to the top flight at the first time of asking.

The former Liverpool boss is keen to have as much control as possible over all areas of the club, more in the style of an old school manager rather than a head coach.

Scouting, backroom staff and player recruitment are all high on Benitez’s list of things to sort, before getting involved in the transfer window.

Daniel Agger has been linked with a move after his contract at Brondby expired, while Tim Krul, Andros Townsend, Jonjo Shelvey and Aleksandar Mitrovic have all said they are prepared to stay and fight for a return to the Premier League.

Townsend is set to stay at St James' Park

Townsend is set to stay at St James’ Park

Moussa Sissoko, Gini Wijnaldum and Papiss Cisse are likely to depart, but that’s not going to anger too many Newcastle fans who’ve had to put up with their minimal efforts in the past couple of seasons.

Benitez will continue his meetings with board members in the coming days, but it looks promising for the Spaniard to save Newcastle United.