Rafael Benitez: Newcastle United boss grateful for few Euro 2016 call-ups

Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez won only three of his 10 games in charge of Newcastle last season

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez says having only one player at Euro 2016 helps his preparations for next season.

France midfielder Moussa Sissoko, 26, was the only Magpies player selected for the tournament in his home country.

Benitez agreed a new three-year deal with United, despite failing to keep them in the Premier League after replacing Steve McClaren in March.

"Usually I have maybe 10 players or 15 players go, so I think it will be much better now with one player," he said.

"I think it will be really good for us, especially for the coaches, because we can start working with our ideas almost straight away."

The Spaniard confirmed he would like to keep Sissoko, who reportedly told a French website he wanted to leave Newcastle and expressed interest in joining Arsenal.

"He knows that he's an important player for us so I will try to keep him with us," Benitez told BBC Newcastle.

"These comments in the press, I think it's important to realise that they will not change things.

"We want to keep the squad as strong as possible and then we will analyse every single case, but we will try to do the best for the team."

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