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Rafa Benitez’s four-word answer to questions Newcastle and the January’s transfer window

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez.

Rafa Benitez says he’s still in the dark about January’s transfer window.

Benitez needs to strengthen his Newcastle United squad next month.

Obviously, we’re a young team that has to learn and has to improve, and we’re learning every week.

Rafa Benitez

The club’s manager, however, still doesn’t know how much money he will have to spend.

United owner Mike Ashley put the club up for sale in October, and Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners is bidding to buy it.

But Newcastle could still be in Ashley’s hands when the transfer window opens.

Benitez was asked about January after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Asked if it was going to be an important month, Benitez said: “I have no idea.”

Benitez was then asked if that was because of the possibility of a takeover.

He replied: “I have no idea.”

The Chelsea defeat left the promoted club 15th in the Premier League – and five points above the relegation zone – ahead of back-to-back home games against Leicester City and Everton.

Newcastle have taken just one point from their last six games.

Asked if United had enough quality to stay up, Benitez said: “We have to improve.

“But to stay up? I think so. But when people talk about these games, this is the Premier League.

“We know we have to improve a lot of things, but still we will be a team in the bottom half of the table.

“We’re a young team that has to learn and has to improve, and we’re learning every week.”

On Newcastle’s lack of Premier League experience, Benitez added: “It’s not a worry, it’s a fact. It’s a fact. So everybody knew and we knew.”

Benitez played five at the back against Chelsea, who had to come from behind at Stamford Bridge.

“It was good for a while, and after we were expecting to have some problems and we had our own problems, because we made our own mistakes,” said Benitez.

“Too many things were wrong after we made the first mistakes and after a lot of positives at the beginning.”