Rafa Benitez set for transfer summit at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez is hoping to discuss his transfer plans with Newcastle United's hierarchy this week.

Monday, 17th December 2018, 4:00 am
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez has been drawing up lists of potential January targets with Steve Nickson, the club’s head of recruitment.

Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron is high up Benitez’s transfer wishlist.

However, Benitez – who had to sell to buy in the summer – is yet to get a transfer budget from owner Mike Ashley, who claimed last week that there was a chance the club could be sold by Christmas.

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The club, however, is likely to still be in Ashley’s hands when the transfer window reopens.

And Benitez needs to know where he stands.

Asked about United’s reported interest in Groningen midfielder Ritsu Doan, Benitez said: “Normally, we don’t talk about players.

“But, in this case, I’m telling you that we’re not talking about anyone at the moment.

“We have to have a meeting, maybe,

“And then we’ll see our targets then, maybe. People have been asking me about him (Doan), but we don’t know (our targets) yet.”

It was claimed yesterday that former Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook is behind one of the groups bidding to take over Newcastle.

The consortium’s funding reportedly coming from the USA, where Cook has business links.

Ex-Chelsea and Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon is behind another bid.

Meanwhile, Newcastle moved up to 14th place in the Premier League after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.

“It’s a long season, a long-distance race, and we have to carry on,” said Benitez, whose side entertain basement club Fulham at St James’s Park on Saturday.

“We will enjoy the next couple of days, but then, after, we will concentrate on Fulham and we will not see the table.

“We just need to think about getting another three points – that’s it.”