Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez eyeing recruits but unsure of January budget

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez has revealed he’s already making extensive plans for the January transfer window.

But the Spaniard boss is unsure of the budget he will be handed to strengthen by the Newcastle United hierarchy.

Benitez and his expanded scouting team have a list of targets already lined up in a number of positions - with a priority placed on signing a left-back and a No 10.

The problem is that he does not know what market he will be shopping in, especially after the nightmare summer window when Benitez was left short in a number of areas, and deeply frustrated by the club’s lack of haste and activity late on.

“We are working on what we have to do, what we would like to do, but you never know,” he said when asked about assurances of being backed in winter window.

“But imagine in December you have an injury, then you are expecting more money on a certain player, then you have to spend however much money for a striker because they are more expensive.

“I think for us now, we have names and we have options and are following players. We have as much information as we can for everyone.

“Then you have to bring players here in order for them to adapt here. It’s not as if you are bringing a player who you know straight away will be fantastic.”

He continued: “Maybe the player is great technically, but maybe he doesn’t talk any English or his family does not settle.

“You have to have as much information as you can because then you must decide how good the player is, how can he fit into the team, and after if you have consider their injury record and things.

“Then you put everything together and, if someone has had a few long-term injuries, you know it will be a risk to sign them so instead you bring in someone who is a little worse but you know can play for one season or whatever.”

Benitez is hopeful, though, he might be able to find another hidden gem - much like has with Mikel Merino.

“Everything is more complicated. Sometimes we analyse too many things, but you can be lucky - you sign a player who is not fit or doesn’t have a good record, but comes, settles down and does well and starts scoring goals,” he said.