Rafa Benitez makes decision on Kenedy's Newcastle future

Rafa Benitez has made a decision on Kenedy's future as he waits on incoming transfers at Newcastle United.

Saturday, 5th January 2019, 8:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 12:29 pm

Benitez has refused to talk about the transfer window since admitting he was “worried” after the club’s Boxing Day defeat to Liverpool.

United’s manager, however, insists that he hasn’t been gagged by the club’s hierarchy.

Benitez submitted lists of potential targets last month, and he is waiting for news from managing director Lee Charnley.

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Speaking ahead of this evening’s FA Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers at St James’s Park, Benitez said: “I think it’s better, if I do not talk too much about that, no one will be analysing what I said, whether it’s positive or negative.”

Asked if he had been gagged, Benitez said: “No. I can talk, but I choose not to.”

Benitez, as in previous years, had hoped that the club would do its business early in the window.

However, he is still waiting for a breakthrough.

And Benitez fears that the club will again leave it late.

Newcastle cannot bring in any more domestic loans, having signed Kenedy and Salomon Rondon in the summer.

There has been speculation that out-of-form Kenedy’s loan would be terminated this month, but Benitez, the Gazette understands, is not minded to send him back to Chelsea to free up another loan slot.

Kenedy was left out of Benitez’s squad for last weekend’s game against Watford.

Meanwhile, Benitez has reacted to the open letter to Mike Ashley written by a number of fan groups.

The letter called on Ashley, United’s owner, to back Benitez in the window.

“I understand that the fans want the best for the team,” said Benitez. “They can see the potential in the way we could see the potential. That’s it, but I will not talk about the transfer window.”

Asked if the letter was more appropriate than protests, Benitez added: “It’s not for me to decide whether it’s good or bad, but I understand what they think. I have read parts of the letter. Not everything, but the main things.”