Rafa Benitez responds to questions about Newcastle's transfer business

Rafa Benitez again refused to talk about transfers after Newcastle United's home defeat to Manchester United.

Wednesday, 2nd January 2019, 10:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 7:20 am
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez’s side were beaten 2-0 at St James’s Park last night.

Newcastle’s home poor home form has underlined the need for reinforcements this month.

Benitez, keen to strengthen several positions, said he had decided not to talk about incoming transfers ahead of last weekend’s game against Watford.

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And Newcastle’s manager again refused to answer questions about the transfer window after the Man United game.

Asked for a transfer update, Benitez said: “I told you that I can talk, but I decided not to talk about the transfer window.”

Benitez was then asked if he knew how much he had to spend in the window.

“I will not talk about the transfer window,” said Benitez, who is keen to sign Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron.

Almiron, however, would cost upwards of £20million, a club-record fee for Newcastle.

Benitez had to put the case for reinforcements to owner Mike Ashley, via the club’s hierarchy, ahead of the window.

Meanwhile, Man United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer paid tribute to his players after their fourth successive win.

Romelu Lukaku scored seconds after coming off the bench with Alexis Sanchez.

Lukaku opened the scoring after goalkeeper Martin Dubravka spilled a free-kick from Marcus Rashford, who scored their second goal.

“I felt it was time then to put Rom and Alexis on, and of course it was a great by Marcus and Romelu does his job as a striker to be following in on the rebound, because if you do that you’ll get five or six goals every season for free, really,” said Solskjaer, who succeeded Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford last month.

“The performance was really professional, very solid.

“To come here (and win), against a club like this with the fans they’ve got, was excellent.

“First-half, I felt we kept them at bay, but then after 15 minutes we made some mistakes, the crowd got going again, and that’s always hard up here.”