During the Chronicle’s latest podcast, Chris Waugh has revealed that, last summer, Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley agreed to a budget of £70m over the next three windows – suggesting just £24m could be left after £46m has been spent since this time last year.
So, he reckons a budget was agreed upon between Ashley and Benitez last summer, meaning £70m was available to spend across the next three windows – being the summer of 2017, January 2018 and this summer.
With us spending £46m last summer (signing likes of Lejeune, Merino and Murphy etc.) and only completing loan deals in January, that suggests just £24m is remaining; just as Chris highlights below.
Here’s the fascinating snippet from the Chronicle’s latest podcast, with the Chris Waugh revealing what he understands to be the situation when it comes to Benitez’s plans this summer and his potential transfer budget (see full quotes below video):
Sincerely hope this isn't the case! #nufc
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) May 23, 2018
“Well it’s quite a complex situation in itself because my understanding is that Newcastle, last summer when Benitez sat down with Ashley, there was an agreed budget over three transfer windows which was essentially around £70m
“Now if they’ve already spent £46m of it, that would leave about £24m..
“The landscape changed dramatically from the very moment they left that room when the Neymar deal (£200m) was done a few weeks later.
“Their transfer budget was just dwarfed by whatever else went on in Europe and fees just sky rocketed.
“So Benitez’s argument is that ‘I need more than this (£70m), that was what we agreed then but you’ve had TV money across the course of this year’ and ‘going forward I need what is a competitive budget as all of our rivals are going to spend more than that’ (£70m) as a net figure”
“Newcastle are saying that ‘you need to reduce the wage budget’ which I think Benitez is now accepting he’s going to have to do, and I think the club would prefer to him to sell early and buy after, but Benitez would prefer to do it the other way around.
“Say someone like Mikel Merino, who’s future is a little bit uncertain. If Benitez knows he can get a replacement in at a similar standard he’s already got that person in, but if he lets Mikel Merino go and then can’t sign another midfielder he feels he’s going to leave himself short.
“So there’s differences in opinion there between the club and Benitez and that’s part of what’s happening with the ongoing discussions.
“They’re more positive than they were now and it looks like Benitez is going to stay – certainly over the next year – but in terms of exactly how big the transfer budget is and how it’ll be spent is still a bit of a sticking point.”
It was suggested a few months ago that a budget of £70m was proposed over three windows, however it seemed too little to be true and a figure Benitez would be so unlikely to agree to in this day and age – however it sounds like this could actually be in place.
If this is the case, no wonder Benitez is pushing for more.
£70m is the sort of transfer kitty Benitez would need this summer to allow us to properly compete, and even then deals for Kenedy and a new striker alone would take up two thirds of that.
It’s a real worry to hear that there may only be £24m of the agreed budget left to spend, but given the fact Benitez has held ‘positive talks’ and agreed to stay for another season as a result, let’s hope he has considerably more to spend this summer..
He’ll need to if we want to make some quality additions in this day and age!