The signing of Kenedy is a kind of a big deal for Newcastle United.
Rafa Benitez has landed one of the club’s top summer targets, this time on a season-long loan.
Kenedy follows Martin Dubravka and Ki Sung-yueng through the doors at St James’s Park.
So far, so good? Well, kind of, though the club still has a lot of work to do before the summer transfer window closes next month.
But what we have learnt from United’s business so far?
Newcastle, it seems, won’t be big net spenders this summer.
The club’s investment in Kenedy, Ki and Dubravka is modest by Premier League standards, and this will be balanced by the departure of Mikel Merino, who’s set to join Real Sociedad.
More players will follow Merino out of the door.
We know that Rafa Benitez was been involved in a stand-off with owner Mike Ashley over a transfer budget.
I said that we have to see how things are going on and then we can sit down later on and discuss about that. I would like to stay here five years, 10 years, if it’s possible, because I can see the potential, the fans, the city – everybody pushing in the same direction.Rafa Benitez
Benitez wanted a competitive budget. And Ashley wanted Benitez – whose contract runs out next summer – to sign a new deal before talking figures.
It’s been reported this summer that Benitez will have a budget of £40-50million, though that has not been confirmed.
And does that reported figure, if correct, include monies from outgoing transfers?
On the evidence of the club’s wheeling and dealing so far, the real budget, excluding money brought in from sales, could be more modest.
Deal or no deal
Benitez addressed his future ahead of the club’s training camp in Ireland.
“I said that we have to see how things are going on and then we can sit down later on and discuss about that,” said Benitez. “I would like to stay here five years, 10 years, if it’s possible, because I can see the potential, the fans, the city – everybody pushing in the same direction.
“But we have to do things like I imagine has to be done in a football club.”
Benitez really wants to commit to United, but he can’t – yet.
And his future seemingly rests on what happens between now and August 9, when the transfer window closes.
Sell to buy
Benitez needs to move a number of fringe players out of the club, but does he have to sell some of his bigger names to buy the players he wants?
Benitez also wants to re-sign winger Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace. To do that, he could well have to sell Matt Ritchie, who scored the goal that secured Newcastle’s Premier League status last season.
The acquisition of Ki on a free transfer, and imminent sale of Merino, will release funds for rebuilding, and the expected £20million departure of Aleksandar Mitrovic will, at least in part, fund a move for a new striker, possibly Salomon Rondon.
Rondon is available for £16.5million following West Bromwich Albion’s relegation.
Ashley, early in talks, wanted to know which players Benitez felt he could move out of the club this summer.
This was fine with Benitez, who doesn’t want a bloated squad.
Benitez wants to move out a number of high-earning players, notably Mitrovic, Chancel Mbemba, Matz Sels, Achraf Lazaar and Jack Colback.