Rafa Benitez responds to speculation over Aleksandar Mitrovic – and reveals transfer priority

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Aleksandar Mitrovic

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Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United want to keep Aleksandar Mitrovic – and sign ANOTHER striker.

Mitrovic was linked with a move away from St James’s Park last week.

But Benitez has insisted that the club has no intention of selling the striker, who is serving a four-game suspension and will sit out this afternoon’s sold-out home game against Huddersfield Town.

Mitrovic, signed from Anderlecht last summer, scored nine goals in the Premier League last season.

And the 21-year-old will give United some much-needed height and power in the fiercely-competitive Championship when he returns from his ban.

Asked about speculation over Mitrovic’s future, United manager Benitez said: “I have seen two or three stories this week which have really surprised me. It’s not something that’s true.”

Newcastle hope to sign another striker before the summer transfer window closes on August 31.

The club has already signed eight senior players this summer, but more arrivals, including Everton left-back Brendan Galloway, are expected at St James’s Park between now and the end of the month.

Benitez said: “I was surprised with this story about Mitrovic.

“Mitrovic is a good striker, he’s our target man at the moment. We need more power in attack, so can we sell one striker if we need more power?

“No, we maybe need to bring in another one. We have no problem with that, but the transfer window is always difficult.”