Rafa Benitez reveals his deadline day fear as Newcastle pursue targets

Rafa Benitez fears that Newcastle United's search for a striker will go to the wire.

Saturday, 27th January 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Saturday, 27th January 2018, 1:16 pm
Rafa Benitez

The club has had two bids for Nicolai Jorgensen rejected by Feyenoord.

And Newcastle are considering whether to table an improved bid for the 27-year-old.

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Benitez – who has again spoken to owner Mike Ashley in recent days – says he feels “positive” about the club’s prospects of signing a striker.

Asked about Jorgensen, United manager Benitez said: “We’ll not talk about names.

“What I said before is what I’ll say now. Until January 31, I have to wait, and hopefully we can do what we have to do.

“I’m talking to Lee (Charnley, United’s managing director), and I was talking to Mike, so we have the green light. I have to be positive, because still we have some days (left).”

Asked if he expected the club’s transfer business to go to the wire, Benitez said: “Yes, it seems like it.”

Jorgensen – who scored 21 goals last season – doesn’t have any Premier League experience.

“Obviously, any player is a risk, whether from the Premier League or from abroad,” said Benitez. “They need to settle down. Kenedy (signed on loan from Chelsea), knows the Premier League, but has to look for a house.

“Everyone needs some time. Some need more, some less.

“We try to identify players abroad. We know their background, and try to have as much information as we can.

“Whether they are professional, clever enough to understand and adapt quickly, we have all this information.”

Meanwhile, Benitez will not sell striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to a rival Premier League club. Brighton and Hove Albion this week had an £8million bid for the 23-year-old turned down.

Benitez said: “I’ve been very clear with him and his agent. If we bring in a striker, we could consider anything – apart from the Premier League.

“If we can’t bring in a striker, then we have to consider carefully, because we need players. We’re not considering selling a player to a Premier League team.”