Rafa Benitez breaks silence on Newcastle’s efforts in ‘crazy’ transfer market

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez poses with the winning boys team at the Foundation 1892 Cup at the Newcastle United Academy yesterday. Picture by Serena Taylor/NUFC
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez poses with the winning boys team at the Foundation 1892 Cup at the Newcastle United Academy yesterday. Picture by Serena Taylor/NUFC

Rafa Benitez is hoping Newcastle United can get to grips with a “crazy” transfer market – after a slow start to the summer window.

The promoted club is looking to strengthen in a number of positions ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

Newcastle have signed Florian Lejeune and Christian Atsu so far this summer.

But the club has lost out on other targets, including striker Tammy Abraham and goalkeeper Willy Caballero.

And Benitez – who attended yesterday’s Foundation 1892 Cup at the club’s Academy – has spoken about the Magpies’ efforts in the transfer market.

“We know where we are,” said United’s manager. “It’s not ideal, because everybody wants to see a lot of players signed already.

Girls celebrate after scoring a goal during the Foundation 1892 Cup at the Newcastle United Academy. Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United

Girls celebrate after scoring a goal during the Foundation 1892 Cup at the Newcastle United Academy. Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United

“But we have to keep working and trying to find the players we want. Hopefully, we can do it.”

Newcastle have also lost out on Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who is set to join Crystal Palace on a season-long loan.

And Norwich City are reluctant to sell winger Jacob Murphy, another target.

Elsewhere, huge fees are being quoted by clubs in what Benitez feels is an inflated market.

It’s not easy for a lot of teams, because the market is a bit crazy.

Rafa Benitez

“It’s not easy for a lot of teams, because the market is a bit crazy,” said Benitez. “We have to try to do our best.

“Obviously, the top sides have a lot of money. The other teams are spending some money, but we will see if we can do our job.”

Meanwhile, Benitez yesterday met schoolchildren from across Tyneside at the Foundation 1892 Cup.

The annual tournament, organised by the Newcastle United Foundation, was staged at the club’s Academy.

Youngsters line up for the Foundation 1892 Cup at the Newcastle United Academy. Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United

Youngsters line up for the Foundation 1892 Cup at the Newcastle United Academy. Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United

And 128 pupils from nine schools took part in the competition.

Benitez took a break from pre-season training to watch the finals and present trophies to the winners and runners-up.

“The main thing is to have a lot of children playing and enjoying,” said Benitez. “I think it will be a day they remember forever.

“I think it’s a very good message for everyone. The children were smiling, and their parents, and the staff have been great. They have to do a lot of work behind the scenes.

“It’s important to have this link between the Foundation, the club and the community.

“I think it’s good for the image and helping a lot of people who will remember this forever.”

Rafa Benitez enjoys the Foundation 1892 Cup at the Newcastle United Academy. Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez enjoys the Foundation 1892 Cup at the Newcastle United Academy. Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United

The girls trophy was won by Walkergate Community School, while the boys final was won by Cambois Primary School.

All children were given a new Puma Newcastle kit and rain jacket.