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V for victory - Benitez hopes to repeat alleged Ashley gesture at Old Trafford

Rafael Benitez hopes he can celebrate a Newcastle United win at Manchester United with a victorious 'V' sign after owner Mike Ashley denied swearing at supporters.

Benitez and his squad met Ashley for dinner on Wednesday, after which it was alleged the Newcastle chief directed a 'V' sign at supporters protesting outside the restaurant.

Ashley released a statement on Thursday refuting the accusation, while Benitez, speaking ahead of a trip to under-pressure United, suggested his own interpretation of the gesture could mark a rare away win at Old Trafford on Saturday.

"Because I am coming from another country, if you win, it's a victory - [the gesture] is the victory sign," the Spaniard said.

"Hopefully we can do that at the end of the game. Victory!"

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Ashley's statement on the incident on the club website read: "I did not make a 'V' sign to anyone.

"To suggest otherwise is both inaccurate and irresponsible. The matter is in the hands of our legal team and they will be contacting relevant newspaper editors in due course.

"It is hugely disappointing, given the reason why we set up the meeting, that certain elements of the media are trying to undermine the club by creating a story out of nothing."

In minutes from a fans' forum released on Friday, the club confirmed that it remains up for sale.