Why Rafa Benitez believes Newcastle fans are ‘100%’ right – as defender deal edges closer

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez is STILL hopeful Newcastle United can complete their summer business in time – with Achraf Lazaar set to be next through the door.

Benitez is looking to sign “two or three” more players before Wednesday night’s deadline.

I know what the fans think and I agree 100%. What they say is what we know.

Rafa Benitez

The club is tracking a number of strikers, wingers and defenders.

Palermo left-back Lazaar, 24, is due on Tyneside to complete a £3million move to Newcastle.

Chelsea winger Christian Atsu is also a target for United, who have signed nine players so far this summer.

The head injuries suffered by Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic in the midweek EFL Cup win over Cheltenham Town underlined the need for more depth up front.

Asked about the need for a striker and a winger ahead of this evening’s Championship home game against Brighton (5.30pm kick-off), Benitez said: “I know what the fans think, and I agree 100%.

“What they say is what we know. The problem is that it’s not easy to go for a winger or a full-back or a striker and spend some money that you don’t think is the right money.

“So you are overpaying for players that maybe have another level, but the market has been crazy like this and something that has to change.

“They should change the deadline for the transfer window, that’s very clear, but also the prices.

“You cannot keep playing these commissions, these prices, these fees and these salaries for players just because we have the TV money.

“No, we have to manage the same way. If you have some money you pay the value of the player and you pay this value.”

Benitez is relieved that United managed to do the bulk of its business early in the transfer window.

Asked if he was confident he would have the squad he wanted once the transfer window closes, Benitez said: “If I go to the market one month ago with money, I could buy what I wanted.

“Now I can go and I have to buy what is available, and it’s more close to what I think what I need.

“Then you can say I need this player with this characteristic, and he’s there in the market.

“Now it’s about as getting as close as possible.”

Benitez was asked about interest in Atsu at his pre-match Press conference.

The 24-year-old has had a series of loans since joining Chelsea three years ago.

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.”