Rafa Benitez on why he still has confidence in Newcastle owner Mike Ashley – and his transfer pledge

Newcastle United players take a well deserved break from training .
Newcastle United players take a well deserved break from training .

Rafa Benitez still expects Mike Ashley to make “every last penny” available to him at Newcastle United – despite a frustrating start to the summer transfer market.

The club is set to make a third summer signing.

Norwich City accepted a bid of £12million for winger Jacob Murphy.

The 22-year-old is understood to have flown into Dublin last night to meet his new team-mates.

United’s manager had been frustrated at what he felt was a lack of progress in the transfer market.

The club missed out on Tammy Abraham, Willy Caballero and Ruben Loftus-Cheek earlier in the summer.

I still have confidence that after my meeting with Mike everything will be fine.

Rafa Benitez

Ashley, Newcastle’s billionaire owner, promised Benitez “every last penny” that the club generated through “promotion, player sales and other means” after a meeting in May.

And Benitez has “confidence” that Ashley will honour his pledge.

Speaking from the club’s week-long training camp in Co Kildare, Ireland, Benitez said: “I think we are very clear where we are.

“In January we didn’t sign players, but we had £30m (player trading profit from last summer) ready for the future, so now we are in a situation where we are going slowly.

“But I still have confidence that after my meeting with Mike everything will be fine.

“He said that he would give us every last penny, so hopefully he will do it, and I’m confident that he will do it.”

Benitez does not want to dwell on the club’s transfer failures.

Asked about the players United have already missed out on, Benitez added: “We cannot change what happened, so we have to concentrate on what will happen in the future.

“We have the numbers to spend. When we had the meeting they told me the numbers – and now we have to make it happen.”

Benitez is keen to have time on the training pitch with new signings ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

Newcastle open their season with a home fixture against Tottenham Hotspur on August 13.

“Obviously, you want players as soon as possible – that’s the same for every manager,” said Benitez.

“I have the same idea. I have said before that the market is getting crazy, but hopefully we can do our job.

“I don’t think it will be ideal, because the prices are what they are, but hopefully we can do our job.”

The transfer market has been inflated by the Premier League’s multi-billion pound TV deals.

And the window has already seen some huge fees paid by Premier League clubs.

Asked if other clubs were “acting crazy” in the transfer market, Benitez said: “As I said, when we had the meeting with Mike we were talking about the numbers – the money that he could give us for doing the signings – and into this budget we are fine, but we have to do it.

“Again, I will say the numbers were there.

“We have the resources to do what we wanted to do, and now we have to do it.”

Benitez is adamant he has freedom to spend the funds promised by Ashley in any way he chooses.

“I asked the question to Mike if I can spend all the money on one player, or if I must spend it on many players,” he said. “He said that the budget is mine and I can do what I want with the numbers he has given me.

“It is the same with wages. The budget is clear, and now we can move around as I want. I have confidence that Mike will keep his word.

“We still have time to buy players until the end of next month, and I am confident that we will do it.”

It was claimed earlier this month that Benitez was considering his future.

Asked if he would leave if promises were broken, Benitez said: “I have confidence that he (Ashley) will do what he said to me.”