Rafa Benitez waits on Mike Ashley's answer at Newcastle after lining up transfer deals

Rafa Benitez says he needs to know his January transfer budget '“ 'sooner rather than later'.

Friday, 5th January 2018, 9:30 pm
Rafa Benitez

The transfer window opened five days ago – and Newcastle United’s manager STILL doesn’t know his budget.

Benitez is waiting for an answer from owner Mike Ashley, who is on holiday.

“I don’t know exactly what our budget is, so don’t have any news,” said Benitez.

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“We had a meeting last week, and had conversations, and I’m waiting now for news.”

Asked when he expected to find out, Benitez said: “Sooner rather than later. Sooner. We will see.”

Benitez had a telephone conversation with Ashley – who put the club up for sale in October – last month.

Since then, Benitez has been dealing with managing director Lee Charnley.

Benitez has outlined his plans and targets, and he is waiting for the go-ahead to pursue a number of deals.

“I had a conversation with them before,” said Benitez.

“We said what we wanted to do. I’m waiting for them to say yes do it.

“We have to wait and see where we are and see if we can get what we want. I don’t want to say too much.”

Newcastle hope to sign Chelsea winger Kenedy on a half-season loan.

However, the Premier League champions will not let the 21-year-old leave until they have strengthened their squad.

Benitez also hopes to move out several fringe players, among them midfielder Jack Colback.

Colback has been training with the club’s Under-23 squad since last summer.

Striker Aleksansdar Mitrovic is ready to quit the club in search of regular first-team football ahead of the summer’s World Cup finals, though he may not be allowed to leave.

Defender Jamie Sterry will be allowed out on loan.

“We have to move players because of the umber of squad players,” said Benitez, whose side is 13th in the Premier League. “But, because of money, I do not see a massive difference.”