Rafa Benitez responds to speculation linking Newcastle with Chelsea's Christian Atsu

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has refused to discuss Newcastle United's interest in Chelsea's Christian Atsu.

The club has been linked with a loan move for the 24-year-old, who has had a number of previous spells away from Stamford Bridge.

Asked about Atsu, Benitez said: “We don’t talk about the targets.

"We have players in different positions. I am really pleased with the squad and how they train, but we have to keep the balance."

Benitez is hopeful that Newcastle can sign up to three more players before the transfer window closes.

The Championship club has signed nine players so far this summer.

But Benitez, speaking ahead of tomorrow evening's home game against Brighton and Hove Albion, is still feels the squad is short of a striker and winger.

"It’s very difficult to have a manager who is really pleased with his squad," said United's manager.

"You always want to improve your squad with better players. We still need two or three players, players who are versatile and can play in different positions.

"We have to do some deals. We are loaning players, sending players, buying players, we have some names, targets.

"(Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger was saying it is a very difficult transfer window and it is true because of the prices.

“We are trying very hard and we have been monitoring players but sometimes it depends on offers, wages, agents.

"We can afford players if it is necessary, but sometimes it is not easy because they won’t come to the Championship or they are in the Champions League."