‘Frustrated’ Rafa Benitez waits on transfer developments at Newcastle

Rafa Banitez
Rafa Banitez

Bob Moncur is hopeful that a “frustrated” Rafa Benitez will get the players he needs at Newcastle United.

The club has made four signings so far this summer, but Benitez still needs to strengthen in several areas ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

Bob Moncur

Bob Moncur

Newcastle’s manager is looking to sign a striker and further strengthen his midfield, and he also wants to move a number of players out of the club.

And United legend Moncur, now a club ambassador, feels there will be “movement” between now and the start of the season.

“I think Rafa’s frustrated – there’s no doubt about that,” said Moncur, who captained Newcastle’s Fairs Cup-winning team in 1969.

“But I think at this time of the season – the next two or three weeks – things might change a little bit and there will be more movement.”

Benitez is the 7/2 bookmakers’ favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post.

But Moncur told the BBC: “We couldn’t have a better manager in charge than Rafa.

“He’s a good manager with a great record, and I think if anybody’s going to bring us back to where we should be – competing at the very top – Rafa’s the man.”

Meanwhile, United’s Paul Dummett feels that Benitez already has strength in depth at St James’s Park.

The defender said: “He might want a few more players, but the squad we have did well last season and won the league.

“Everyone who was in the squad and is still here is desperate to show what they’ve got.

“We all want to be playing. It’s up to us to fight for our place no matter who comes in.

“We know we’ve got good competition. We want to hit the ground running and we’ll be working hard in the friendlies to cement our place in the team.”

Newcastle take on Bradford City in a friendly at Valley Parade tomorrow night.

And Stuart McCall, the League One club’s manager, is “realistic” about his team’s chances in the game.

“We go into Wednesday night knowing that we are going to be up against players worth tens of millions of pounds, so we have to be realistic,” said McCall.

“Equally, though, we still want to go out there and put in the strongest display possible.

“The result might not necessarily go our way, but we still have things we want to get out of the game.

“We have a great relationship with Newcastle – they allowed us to bring Alex Gilliead and Haris Vuckic to the club last season.

“We obviously now have Alex back here as well for this season.

“We look forward to welcoming them to the stadium and to a challenging encounter.

“Hopefully, it is one that we can get plenty out of.

“Although we won’t be up against the standard of Newcastle’s quality once the league season starts,, there is still the opportunity to use this fixture to keep building things up ahead of the new campaign.”