Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has had no contact with Napoli

Newcastle United fans at St James' Park

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has challenged his players to end the season with the victory over Chelsea he believes they deserve. "I just want to keep this club climbing as high as we can".

"I was really proud of that", said Benitez.

"From a year ago it is exactly the same thing".

Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur are among the teams keeping tabs on Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles, according to reports in the British media.

But still without a call-up, and with Southgate's squad announced on Wednesday, Lascelles accepts the manager has his chosen defenders. "But I will just concentrate on trying to do well against Chelsea in what will be a tough game".

"We have a couple of players on loan who are leaving and a couple of players who have finished their contract as well (Jesus Gamez and Massadio Haidara), you need to sign players to be sure you have a good squad with competition". The fans appreciate this togetherness, and the relationship we have created. "He's a key player for us".

"When you're flicking through Twitter or people say there's rumours about this, that and the other you're aware of it but I don't take any notice. If you don't have the money, the main thing is to be sure that if you sell this one for £40m, you have two at £20m who can do well, then you can be better".

Kicker say Bayern Munich are very much looking at Kenedy as a left back, and they point out Benitez sees the youngster playing further forward.

While Lascelles has still shown he can be caught out of position or make an occasional mistake, like any player, overall his displays at the top level have earned him the recognition of Champions League clubs.

"I would like to thank Rafa Benitez for his magnificent achievement this season", he said in a statement issued on the club's official website.

"As players, we've got to cross the white line but we follow instructions from somewhere, and that's the gaffer". Let us know by commenting below.

"There are not too many young centre-backs who can play in the Premier League and they are English, so he has many positive things".

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