Newcastle United briefing: Early breakthrough on transfer agenda, Christian Atsu waits on decision

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has got the money he needs to build a Premier League team – now he has to spend it.

Owner Mike Ashley yesterday pledged to give Benitez "every penny" the promoted club generates through promotion and player sales.

That could equate to a transfer kitty of almost £100million if a number of players are moved on this summer.

Ready, steady, go

Ashley, we understand, wants the club to make early progress in the transfer market.

Benitez and managing director Lee Charnley have, for some time, been working towards the summer window.

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

United's manager hinted at this yesterday in the statement issued by the club following successful talks with Ashley.

"I’m pleased with how the meeting went and the positive approach we are all taking together to build on what we have started this season,” said Benitez.

“There will be challenges ahead of course – the summer will not be easy.

“But the hard work has been going on for some time, and we can now continue positively with the development of the squad ahead of the start of the new season. I wish fans an enjoyable summer.”

Christian Atsu

Christian Atsu

But the hope is that there will be an early breakthrough in the transfer market.

And things are certainly looking up at Newcastle.

Winging it

Does Christian Atsu fit into Benitez's plans for the Premier League next season?

The winger, back at Chelsea, made 32 appearances – and scored five goals – during his season-long loan at Newcastle.

But has he done enough?

Benitez was non-committal when asked about Atsu's future last month.

And the 25-year-old has been speaking about where he stands following the conclusion of his loan spell.

Atsu also reflected on United's Championship triumph.

“We fought to the end,” said Atsu, who was superb in Sunday's 3-0 win over Barnsley.

“We are champions. In football, you just never know. You have to keep fighting and keep believing.

“I don’t think you can predict football. We have shown that. At the end, we got what we always wanted."

City gents

Newcastle have been linked with a double raid on Manchester City.

The club is reportedly looking at Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala.

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