Rafa Benitez baffled by 'strange' behaviour of club on transfer deadline day

Rafa Benitez says he was left bemused by the actions of one club on transfer deadline day.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 2nd February 2018, 2:52 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd February 2018, 2:56 pm
Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic

Newcastle United signed signed Islam Slimani and Martin Dubravka on loan from Leicester City and Sparta Prague respectively in the final hours of the transfer window.

The club also moved a number of players out of St James's Park on loan, notably Aleksandar Mitrovic.

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Mitrovic flew to Brussels once Slimani arrived on Tyneside to re-sign on loan for former club Anderlecht.

However, the proposed deal collapsed after the Belgian club failed to offload a player of their own, and Fulham stepped in to take the 23-year-old for the rest of the season.

United manager Benitez said: "The Mitro situation was strange.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

"Anderlecht were saying yes, yes, yes, then no. Mitro wants to play in the World Cup (with Serbia), and needs games. Mitro wanted to play, needed to play. He's a nice lad.

"We were surprised with Anderlecht. I had two or three Spanish clubs wanting him on loan and a French club.

"Anderlecht pushed and pushed. You cannot push the way they did and then not have a position. But we reacted well, and that’s it."

Aleksandar Mitrovic