Rafa Benitez reveals plan to sign clutch of attacking players at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez wants to sign “two or three” more attacking players – and strengthen Newcastle United’s defence.

The club has signed three players – Kenedy, Martin Dubravka and Ki Sung-yueng – so far this summer.

Winger Kenedy this week returned to the club on a season-long loan.

Benitez is also keen to re-sign Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace and sign a striker.

The club had a bid for Alassane Plea rejected by Nice earlier this month.

West Bromwich Albion’s Salomon Rondon, available for £16.5million, is another target.

We have (to sign) two or three more offensive players, and also we need a back-up in defence, or improving the defence a little bit. We have plenty of work (to do).

Rafa Benitez

Asked if a striker was his priority, Benitez said: “There are some positions we have to improve, not just a striker.

“We have (to sign) two or three more offensive players, and also we need a back-up in defence, or improving the defence a little bit. We have plenty of work (to do).”

Kenedy and goalkeeper Dubravka spent the second half of last season on loan at Newcastle from Chelsea and Sparta Prague respectively, and the arrival of midfielder Ki was balanced by this week’s sale of Mikel Merino to Real Sociedad.

And Benitez has admitted that his Premier League squad has not yet been strengthened.

“The point is not how many (signings) we have done,” said United manager Benitez, who is working with a limited transfer budget.

“We have to improve the team, and that means improve the squad.

“At the moment, we have the same players, more or less, that we had before. We are in the starting position again.”

Benitez plans to finance a move for a striker by selling £20million-rated Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is wanted by newly-promoted Fulham.

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest are in talks with Newcastle over a move for midfielder Jack Colback, who spent the second half of last season on loan at the City Ground.

Colback, 28, has one year left on his United deal.