Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United’s transfer push could be too late.
Benitez wants to sign at least three players before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Our fans know we cannot compete against the other (top) teams, but at the same time I think we could do something more. We are trying to improve what we have at the moment. We are trying now, but maybe it’s a little bit late.Rafa Benitez
Salomon Rondon is set to sign in a loan swap which will see Dwight Gayle join West Bromwich Albion.
Benitez – who met owner Mike Ashley for talks at the start of the summer – also wants to sign a centre-half, a left-back and a No 10.
United’s manager had been keen for the club to do its business early. However, Benitez was told he must sell to buy after opting to delay talks on a new contract.
Asked if more talks with Ashley could he helpful, Benitez said: “We had the meeting in the past, and I talk with (managing director) Lee Charnley every day. So they know my ideas.
“Our fans know we cannot compete against the other (top) teams, but at the same time I think we could do something more. We are trying to improve what we have at the moment. We are trying now, but maybe it’s a little bit late.”
Benitez lined up a number of deals, but they weren’t signed off.
“I will try to be realistic not optimistic or pessimistic,” said Benitez. “We have been working really hard.
“My idea was that, at this stage of pre-season, everything would be completed and the team would be ready and you will be working with your players for one month or whatever.
“It’s not the case, but at the same time I think we are trying to improve the squad.
“It is enough? I don’t think so. Is it enough for competing and trying to win games? We will do it. With this team, we finished 10th, but the margin was very narrow.
“That was my point and we were ready. We were working hard to do things the right way. We are where we are and we will try to do our best to bring in the best players we can get to improve the competition.
“Will it be more difficult than last year? I think so. Fulham, Wolves and Cardiff are spending money. Everybody has spent some money.”