Journalist reveals how Mike Ashley scuppered deadline day deals for Liverpool & Stoke duo

According to The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, Rafa Benitez had lined up deadline day deals for Liverpool’s Ragnar Klavan and Stoke’s Erik Pieters – only for the board to make little effort to get either deal done, claiming they didn’t fit the ‘club’s criteria’.

Whether you think these would’ve been good buys or not is irrelevant – It’s another clear sign that Rafa Benitez is being ignored by the board.

In the end, the signing of Fernandez meant that a deal for Liverpool centre-back Klavan was not needed, however this just highlights how little Benitez is being listened to – even when he was desperate for new signings at the 11th hour.

I for one and glad we got Fernandez over Klavan – and I imagine Benitez is too in the end – however the fact we offered just £2m for Pieters because the 30-year old did not fit in with the club’s transfer policy is just pathetic.

Benitez had made it clear all summer that cover at left-back was needed, with Dummett being our only senior player in the position, yet the board ignore his demands and instead put in ‘cheeky’ offers with ours left to spare – knowing full well that it’d be rejected.



Here’s what The Chronicle had to say on Rafa’s attempts to sign the Liverpool and Stoke duo on deadline day – suggesting Mike Ashley was not prepared to sanction deals for either:

“Rafa Benitez wanted to add Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan and Stoke City’s Erik Pieters to his squad before the transfer window closed for business.

“However, United weren’t believed to be willing to release funds for the 6ft 2in Estonia international because at 32 he wasn’t deemed to fit into the club’s criteria.

“It is understood that Benitez felt that Klavan would have offered cover at both centre-back and left-back for the long season ahead.

“Pieters is believed to have been the subject of a £2million bid from United but sources in the Potteries say the offer was dismissed as a “cheeky one” by relegated Stoke.”

Yes we may have bid £2m for Pieters in the end, but there was no way on earth Stoke were going to let their first-choice left-back leave for just £2m.

They may have eventually agreed to pay up for Federico Fernandez, but the fact they weren’t willing to back Benitez despite a net spend of minus £20m is just unacceptable.

I feel for Rafa and all fellow NUFC fans who’ve had to put up with yet another summer of frustration.

 (Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

6 thoughts on “Journalist reveals how Mike Ashley scuppered deadline day deals for Liverpool & Stoke duo

  1. Forget criteria, they are shite and I’m not disappointed we didn’t sign these 2. Fernandez is a better signing than Klavan, and whilst we need a LB, I don’t think Pieters is good enough now. It should have been Bryan we signed, but we pissed about and missed out again.

    I don’t believe either of these players were anywhere near the top of Rafas wish list so I’m not bothered.

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  2. Sharpy17:
    Forget criteria, they are shite and I’m not disappointed we didn’t sign these 2.Fernandez is a better signing than Klavan, and whilst we need a LB, I don’t think Pieters is good enough now.It should have been Bryan we signed, but we pissed about and missed out again.

    I don’t believe either of these players were anywhere near the top of Rafas wish list so I’m not bothered.

    I make reference to that mate, but it’s another damning sign for Rafa.

    Totally agree, should’ve been Bryan in at left-back. Even so, if Rafa wants Pieters, he should be backed. He’d have been much better than having to deal with Manquillo at LB if Dummett gets injured!

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  3. FFS Olly, stop referring to a ‘Board’. You know the club doesn’t have one – or you should! This is nowt to do with ‘backing’ Rafa – just more proof of Ashley lies when he stated Rafa has full control of football matters.
    The ‘club criteria’ is obviously still set by the fat one. About time all media started calling this out.

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  4. If there is a criteria for recruiting players then why is Rafa looking at players outside of this criteria knowing they will get knocked back? Was he playing the game, knowing that they could have signed those two players and the funds were available and then instead said ‘get me Fernandez then’ that way he knew the funds were there and they met the clubs ‘criteria’.

    Also, it’s pretty poor to make the headline about mike ashley and then not mention him once in the article, as we know it’s not him that said no to those signings yesterday. He may help set the business model, but he didn’t say no to those players as the headline suggests. This is what makes us Geordies look stupid to the outside world, it’s like we don’t understand business and just blame everything on Ashley.

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  5. The board? Lol
    Listen, we all know the situation, stop writing about it and either do something or accept who we are,
    A disgrace to the league, ourselves, the fans, he needs to go simple,

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  6. Steve:
    The board? Lol
    Listen, we all know the situation, stop writing about it and either do something or accept who we are,
    A disgrace to the league, ourselves, the fans, he needs to go simple,

    Stop writing about it? It’s our job to do that mate.

    I’m not sure what else you want us to ‘do’…

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