Newcastle United briefing: Mike Ashley stands firm on cash pledge, midfielder returns to club

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez wants some signings – and so too does Mike Ashley.

Newcastle United have only signed one player so far this summer.

Benitez is frustrated, having been keen to see several new faces arrive before the start of pre-season training next week.

READ MORE: Mike Ashley stands firm on cash pledge as Newcastle close in on targets

But the money promised by owner Ashley IS there, though it will only go so far in this summer's inflated market.

Here's your daily briefing:

Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley

Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley

Every penny?

Value will be hard to find in this summer's transfer market.

The job of keeping Benitez and Ashley happy falls to managing director Lee Charnley, who is working long hours at St James's Park.

Ashley promised Benitez "every penny" that the club generates through promotion and player sales last month.

Christian Atsu

Christian Atsu

Fans are also frustrated, and some supporters have questioned whether Ashley will give Benitez the funds he needs to build a squad capable of competing in the Premier League.

But that pledge still stands.

Deals, however, are becoming more expensive – and agents' fees are also increasing.

We reveal the reasons why the club has failed to sign a player since Christian Atsu joined on a permanent move last month.

Isaac Hayden and Rafa Benitez

Isaac Hayden and Rafa Benitez

Early bird

Benitez's players aren't due back at the club until Monday, but a couple are already working on their fitness at the club's Benton HQ.

Isaac Hayden has joined captain Jamaal Lascelles at the training ground.

And the midfielder has been speaking about the coming season.

"It’s about everyone pulling in the right direction – the players that are already here, the players that will come – and everyone working together to make sure that the club goes in the right direction," said the 21-year-old.

"It’s been a long break so far, and it’s probably been needed for a lot of the players, including myself.

"I feel really good now, and I feel ready and raring to go for the season ahead."

Loan ranger?

Stuart Findlay got a taste for first-team football at Newcastle last season.

But the defender, signed last summer, is prepared to leave the club – on loan.

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