According to the Chronicle & The Times’ George Caulkin, a £36m move for Joelinton was a deal Rafa Benitez ‘did not approve of’ at Newcastle – not because he didn’t rate him, but because he felt this sort of money should be spent elsewhere.
Lee Ryder’s latest piece on the striker – who looks set to complete a big money move to St James’ – states Newcastle have held interest in the Brazilian for ‘six months’, but reveals why Rafa Benitez was not sold on a club record move for the Bundesliga star.
As Ryder states below, it seems Benitez felt this sort of money would’ve been better spend spent elsewhere – despite the fact he rated the 22-year-old:
‘United have had an interest in Joelinton for the last six months but it was a signing Rafa Benitez did not approve of, not because he felt he was a bad player but because he queried if the money should be spent in other areas.
‘But in the aftermath of Benitez’s departure, the club have pushed on with the deal and it is understood new head coach Steve Bruce would welcome his arrival.‘
‘Newcastle have long been fixated on Joelinton, Hoffenheim’s Brazilian forward, who will cost around £36 million.
‘They pressed the 22-year-old on Benítez, who demurred; he liked the player, but not at anything like that price and, if there was that much money available, why not let him spent it on his own choices?‘
In fairness, you can see why Benitez felt this way given it was reported his budget was in the region of £50-£60m. Is a £36m move for Joelinton necessary when we could’ve had Salomon Rondon (19 goal involvements last season) for LESS than half this fee (£16.5m)?
On the plus side, the Chronicle’s Mark Douglas has confirmed that any deal for Joelinton will be paid in ‘staggered payments’, insisting there’ll still be ‘money to spend’.
That said, you can see Rafa’s logic here. After all, what’s better – Rondon (£16.5m) and another £20m striker, or Joelinton?
He may be a big talent who’s really caught the eye in Germany over the past few seasons, but he is not proven at this level, with us still needing another forward in before we’ve even got close to replacing both Rondon AND Perez.