Rafa Benitez looking to add a No 10 to Newcastle's ranks in January transfer window

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has revealed that he is keen to add a No 10 to his ranks in the January transfer window.

But that does not mean the end for current incumbent Ayoze Perez, with Benitez hinting that anyone who comes in would not be to replace, but to provide healthy competition for the 24-year-old.

The Newcastle United boss is keen to add reinforcements in the January window with scouting missions and transfer wishlists already drawn up.

And he revealed that Perez's position, where he plays between the lines, is somewhere the Magpies are keen to address.

"Are we looking for competition for Perez? Yes," said Benitez.

"We are looking for competition in every position. But if you don't sign anyone then you must use the players that you have, and I am quite happy with him."

With Paul Dummett being out still for at least another month and Chancel Mbemba forced to play left-back, it was no surprise to hear Benitez reveal he is keen to add to that area also.

But the manager is not content with his lot. He is assessing every position, and those potentially available in the market, to see whether he can strengthen all over the park.

"What you have to do is to look for players in every position," he said.

"If you are thinking: 'Oh, we are fine in this position.' Then maybe someone will come with a massive offer for a player, maybe you have a long-term injury.

"So you have to concentrate on certain positions you know you need to strengthen, but still you must not forget about the others because something could happen.

"In the last window when the fans were talking saying: 'Oh, we need a No 10. Oh, we need this. Oh, we need that. Oh Rafa is talking about the 'keeper, why is he not talking about the striker?' We were already working on Joselu, but you cannot say to them: 'Listen, we are working on this.'

"We have time so we can work on the keeper and the striker and the No 10 or whatever.

"We have a new 'shed', or office, for the scouting department. They are already working because it's what you have to do. It doesn't matter if the transfer window is not opened, then you still have to be ready to bring in players and be looking.

"Everybody is doing their job for the next window, but in every training session you can see that the groundsmen have made the pitches fine, the medical department are doing well because we have just a couple of injuries, so everyone is doing their jobs. But afterwards things change and you have to react and have a solution in place just in case."