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Rafa Benitez answers four key questions on Newcastle's January transfer plans

Rafa Benitez still doesn't know his budget for next month's transfer window.

Newcastle United are 18th in the Premier League after losing eight of their last nine games.

And Benitez hopes to bring at least two players to St James's Park in the window to strengthen his squad.

Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, this week linked with a move to West Bromwich Albion, could also leave the club.

The club's manager gave a transfer update at his press conference ahead of tomorrow's game against West Ham United at the London Stadium.

Benitez, close to securing Chelsea winger Kenedy on a half-season loan, answered a number of key questions.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Is there an agreement over a loan for Kenedy?

“In terms of the transfer window, we don't have any agreement with anyone at the moment, but we are progressing to try to get closer.

“I don't know the budget that I have, so we don't know how much we can spend. It will depend on the value of the players, the players who are available or not and we may have to move players out to bring others in.

“In terms of names in the Press, some of them (the names) are impossible for us, so the reality is that we have to keep focused on the football.

“The people in our scouting department are working on names, and I'm having conversations with Lee (Charnley, United's managing director), but still nothing is past the post."

How important is it to get your transfer business done early?

“It's really important to do that. We haven't received any offers for any of our players at this stage, but we have to do things as quickly as possible and I have the belief and the confidence in Mike Ashley that, by January 15 or 20, we have to be there with everything done."

Is there any interest in Aleksandar Mitrovic?

“We don't have any offers from anyone, so we have to deal with what we have at the moment."

How important is it that you know your transfer budget soon?

"Would it be ideal? Yes, but is it the case at the moment? No. Are we working on names and possibilities? Yes, and I'm confident that we can get what we want.

“I have confidence that Mike Ashley will deliver what we need to stay in the Premier League before January 20 to be sure that we have time to work with them (the new players)."