Rafa Benitez delivers blunt messsage on transfers as Aleksandar Mitrovic returns to Newcastle

Rafa Benitez says his Newcastle United squad desperately needs more additions '“ as it's NOT good enough.

Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 5:00 am
Rafa Benitez and Joselu.

The club has signed three players – Kenedy, Martin Dubravka and Ki Sung-yueng – so far this summer.

And Benitez wants to sign up to five more players in the transfer window.

However, United’s manager, involved in a stand-off with owner Mike Ashley over his budget and a new contract, is having to sell to buy.

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While Newcastle’s rivals are spending heavily, Benitez is having to scour the transfer market for bargains.

Speaking after last night’s 2-2 friendly draw at Hull City, Benitez said: “Is the current squad good enough for what we need? I don’t think so.

“It needs additions – that’s clear. It’s clear what we have to do.”

Benitez – who met Ashley for talks in the summer – is speaking daily with managing director Lee Charnley

“I’m speaking with Lee Charnley every day, but not with him (Ashley),” said Benitez.

“Normally, during the year, I do not speak with him too much. In this case, I talk with Lee Charnley every day.

“The main thing is to do what we have to do – I do not have to speak to Mike.”

Benitez will take his team to Portugal later this week for games against Porto and Braga. “There could be a new signing in time for Portugal, but then I was expecting things before,” said Benitez.

“As I have said before, if we have new players coming, it will be good. It will be better than nothing.

Asked if there was money available, Benitez added: “That is a question for Lee Charnley.”

Meanwhile, United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, wanted by Fulham, is due to report back to the club today.

“He has to come back,” said Benitez. “We need to check on how he is, and then we’ll decide if he will go to Portugal.

“It ‘s a day off for the rest of the squad, so we have some time to see how things are.”

Mitrovic spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham.