Rafa Benitez warns Newcastle that its transfer record can’t remain unbroken

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United will have to break its transfer record to sign a striker capable of getting into double figures.

The club’s record signing is Michael Owen, who cost £16million in 2005.

If you want to bring a striker with a guarantee of more than 10-15 goals per season, you have to pay money for him, for sure.

Rafa Benitez

Newcastle haven’t come close to breaking that record under Mike Ashley’s ownership.

This season’s top Premier League scorer is Ayoze Perez with six goals.

United manager Benitez, however, believes that that statistic doesn’t tell the whole story.

“When you see our stats, it’s quite interesting,” said Benitez, speaking ahead of tonight’s game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

“You can say that six goals is not too much. But, at the same time, we’re one of the teams in the top in terms of shooting and top nine in terms of shots on target, so we’re attacking.

“With five games to play we were safe because we have good balance.

“Compare our stats with Burnley in terms of not conceding, but not scoring too many. They conceded less than us, and the experience of their team was the key to that.

“You can win scoring more goals that would be ideal, and you can win conceding less goals.

“If you have both, you can win trophies.”

United spent £5million on Joselu last summer, and the club will need to sign another strike this summer, when Aleksandar Mitrovic, on loan at Fulham, will be allowed to leave.

“If you want to bring a striker with a guarantee of more than 10-15 goals per season, you have to pay money for him, for sure,” said Benitez.

Asked if that meant more than £16million, Benitez said: “In this market, yes.”

The most Benitez has paid for a player while a manager in England was the £20million he spent on Fernando Torres at Liverpool in 2007.

“I have been unlucky, because normally I like to coach players, to improve players, and that means sometimes that the owners don’t spend too much,” said Benitez.

“I was always concerned and taking care of the numbers.

“I was learning in England to work with a business plan – you have to have a realistic business plan and then, if you know that, you have to work on that.

“Does that mean you have to break the record? If it’s necessary, you can do it.

“But if it’s not necessary, it’s just to be sure you have the funds to compete.”

Meanwhile, Benitez’s representatives are still in talks with the club’s hierarchy over a new deal and the summer transfer window.

Asked if there had been progress, Benitez said: “Not really.

“There will be another conversation, for sure, and then we will see where we are at. There is plenty of time to keep talking.”

Benitez has a year left on his St James’s Park contract.