Rafa Benitez pushing for more deals after Newcastle agree £12m fee for winger

Jacob Murphy
Jacob Murphy

Rafa Benitez is hopeful Newcastle United can make up for lost time in the transfer market – after the club had a bid for Jacob Murphy accepted.

Murphy is set to join the club after Norwich City accepted an improved £12million offer for the winger.

The 22-year-old will become the club’s third summer signing, after flying in to Dublin last night to join United’s week-long training camp.

Benitez had become frustrated at the club’s slow progress in the transfer market, but he believes owner Mike Ashley will “keep his word”, with the club’s owner having pledged to give United’s manager “every last penny” generated through promotion and player sales.

Asked if he was impatient, Benitez said: “I’m like all the fans, but I’m even worse, because I want to see the players every day training.

“But I still have confidence that he (Ashley) will keep his word.

“I still have confidence that Mike will keep his word and we will have more players come in.”

Fans have speculated about the reasons behind Newcastle’s failure to clinch a series of early deals.

Benitez, however, refused to point the finger, and again stressed his “confidence” in Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley.

“I cannot talk about that,” he said. “But I can say that I am still confident we will do what we need to do.”

After watching yesterday morning’s training session, Benitez said: “Things are fine.

“You can see that the training sessions are always OK at this time, and all the players want to impress, so it’s good.”

Benitez guided Newcastle to the Championship title last season.

And the 57-year-old is now determined to build a team capable of “competing” in the Premier League.

“I decided to stay because it is a massive club, because of the fans, and also so that I could stay in England and be close to my family,” said Benitez.

“The decision to stay in the Championship last year, so that we might be back in the Premier League, was a risk in the sense that I could have gone somewhere else and made more money.

“But I stayed – and now it is my priority for Newcastle to stay in the Premier League and do well.

“I have the same feeling as the fans. I want to compete. I don’t just want to be there trying to avoid relegation.”

“Now we must use the time we still have to sign players and improve the squad.”