The Chronicle have wrote an interesting piece on Benitez’s attempted summer business today, revealing that he had looked at Andre Gray, Joshua King, Jack Cork, Kieran Gibbs and Willy Caballero – but was told the club could not afford deals for any of them.
This comes after Rafa Benitez’s admission this week that Newcastle could not afford certain players due to their high transfer fees or big wages, and these five names appear to be a prime example of those Ashley was unable (or unwilling) to pay the money for.
“We have to compete against Huddersfield & Brighton but we couldn’t sign the players they signed or pay the wages they paid.
“We are where we are because we did what we did. We couldn’t sign players and couldn’t pay wages or the fee.”
Here’s a bit more from The Chronicle on the FIVE players Benitez wanted to sign, but found we were unable to facilitate moves for over the summer transfer window:
“The defensive midfielder was on Newcastle’s wish-list after deciding to leave Swansea City for pastures new.
“However, despite United’s interest he ended up heading to Burnley where he has been a regular in Sean Dyche’s side this season.
“The midfielder cost the Clarets a fee that could rise to £10million and picks up around £50,000 a week on a deal until 2021.”
Our verdict – Cork for £10m or Merino for £7m? You do the math..
“The AFC Bournemouth striker was on Newcastle’s initial wish-list at the start of the summer.
“But with limited funds to spend it soon became apparent any such deal for the Norwegian wasn’t going to be on the cards.
“King arrived at Bournemouth on a free transfer in 2015 but soon attracted interest after a good first season in the Premier League, scoring 18 goals.
“After being told King would cost north of £15million, Newcastle moved attention elsewhere and King then signed a new improved contract with the Cherries.”
Our verdict – Could’ve been a very good signing if his form last season was anything to go by, but a big risk at that price. Hasn’t looked quite the same player so far this season.
“The left-back was linked with Newcastle throughout the summer but he waited until the latter stages of the window before making his move to West Bromwich Albion.
“Gibbs joined the Baggies on a £7million deal and is on wages of £80,000 per week – a pay packet Newcastle weren’t interested in paying.
“United then watched on as Paul Dummett suffered a hamstring injury within minutes of the new season and have been forced to play Javier Manquillo at left-back ever since.”
Our verdict – The sort of player we should’ve snatched this summer for that price. Wages may be high, but he’d have been a good upgrade at left-back.
“This deal has to be considered an absolute sitter for Newcastle in the summer window.
“Having made it clear he wanted a new goalkeeper, Rafa Benitez identified Caballero but with three goalkeepers already on the books, United baulked at the ex-Man City man’s £40,000 per week wage packet.
“Newcastle tried to sell Karl Darlow to Middlesbrough but the deal didn’t come off and Caballero ended up moving to Chelsea on a free transfer.”
Our verdict – We baulked at 40k a week? That must’ve been the lowest wage a senior player was picking up at City too! Given Elliot’s mixed form this season, you can see why Rafa wanted a keeper. Caballero wouldn’t be the long-term answer, but he’d have been an upgrade.
Let us know your thoughts folks. Any deals here you particularly wish we’d paid up for?