Rafa Benitez reveals Newcastle's transfer 'problem' – as club closes in on Mikel Merino

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez says he has a transfer "problem" at Newcastle United.

The club is close to securing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mikel Merino on a season-long loan.

Merino, 21, will become Benitez's fifth summer signing.

However, Benitez already has a senior pool of around 30 players – and the club needs to trim its squad ahead of more arrivals.

Asked about transfer progress, Newcastle manager Benitez said: "Every manager wants to sign more players.

"And that is especially important when you are promoted from the Championship to the Premier League.

Jacob Murphy, centre

Jacob Murphy, centre

"It's maybe not the same when you're already in the Premier League and you need three or four maximum.

"When you are changing division, it's more difficult and you have to bring more players.

"But we have a problem, which is obvious, which is we already have too many players.

"We have to move players out if we want to move players in. That's something we have to manage between now and the end of the window."

On the Merino deal, Benitez said: "It's not quite done yet, but we're working to try and finalise everything. I'm quite confident that we'll do it.

"Hopefully, it will get done and we will have a player with quality, who can help us in the middle of the park."

Meanwhile, new signing Jacob Murphy netted twice in a 4-0 win over Bradford City tonight.

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle also found the net at Valley Parade.

Benitez said: "It was good. We created some good situations and also defended quite well.

"It was what we were trying to do, although there are still things we are trying to improve.

"But at least you could see a team that were trying to do the movements that we were practising in the training sessions."