Rafa Benitez offers revealing insight into his mindset at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez. Picture by Frank Reid
Rafa Benitez. Picture by Frank Reid

Rafa Benitez has lifted the lid on his unhappiness at Newcastle United’s failure to land his transfer targets – but he will NOT walk away from the job.

Benitez yesterday spoke openly at an event to mark the launch of the new Premier League season, which kicks off for Newcastle at home to Tottenham on Sunday.

The club has signed five players so far this summer at a cost of just over £30million, while a number of players, including Daryl Murphy, Yoan Gouffran, Vurnon Anita and Florian Thauvin, have left St James’s Park.

Benitez is keen to see more new arrivals, though he and managing director Lee Charnley are under pressure to move on a number of players.

Owner Mike Ashley – who had promised Benitez “every last penny” the club generated through promotion and player sales in May – wants to see movement out of St James’s Park.

Benitez was frustrated to lose out on Tammy Abraham and Willy Caballero earlier in the summer.

I’m not happy with it, but at the same time for me, it’s a challenge and I will try to do my best.

Rafa Benitez

“The story is as I said before,” said Benitez. “We missed some targets at the beginning, and now we’re trying to do our best with what’s available.

“I can read our fans saying ‘listen, now will sign a £25million striker’. We cannot.

“Sometimes they aren’t available. But if they are available, the price isn’t £20million, the wages are not the same, and the commission of the agents is huge. I think we will try to do our best.

“I’m not happy. I’m not happy with it, but, at the same time, for me, it’s a challenge and I will try to do my best.

“If I decide to stay, it’s for the city, the fans, the stature of the club, to stay in England and in the Premier League. So I want to do my best, but obviously every manager wants to improve.

“I’m happy with the players I have. The team spirit’s quite good, and hopefully we replicate that this season.”

Asked about walking away, Benitez added: “No, I decided to stay. When I decided to stay, it’s because for me it’s a challenge. I try to do my best now.”