Rafa Benitez in transfer 'stand-off' at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez is locked in a transfer "stand-off" at Newcastle United, according to a report.

The Sun claim that Benitez has been told to trim his squad before he can sign anyone in this month's transfer window.

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley

Benitez wants to strengthen a number of positions in the January window.

READ MORE: Rafa Benitez realistic about Newcastle’s chances of doing ‘difficult’ transfer deals

However, United's manager – who has been looking at the loan market – is reluctant to sell anyone before a replacement is secured.

West Ham United are understood to be interested in midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, while a report in France has claimed that Bordeaux want striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Benitez is prepared to sell some players, though he would rather buy before he sells.

The 57-year-old, mindful of the sensitivity of owner Mike Ashley to some of his comments about transfers, has toned down his rhetoric over the past fortnight.

Benitez has been reluctant to discuss the window in his last couple of pre-match press conferences.

Last week he said he hoped to learn his transfer budget "sooner rather than later".

Newcastle are 13th in the Premier League table ahead of Saturday's home game against Swansea City.