Rafa Benitez spoke out after last night’s 4-0 win away to Bradford, confirming that Borussia Dortmund midfielder is ‘close’ to joining the Magpies, however admitting that Newcastle may have to move players out before anymore any can be brought in.
See below for the gaffers interview with Sky Sports, where he comments on the potential arrival of Mikel Merino and reacts to being asked if he must to trim his squad:
Rafa talking about signing Merino after tonight's performance v Bradford City
— #FordeHaveMercy (@FordeHaveMercy) July 26, 2017
Speaking to local media after the game, Benitez then said the following when asked how close the club were to announcing Borussia Dortmund’s Mike Merino as a Newcastle United player:
“It’s not quite done yet, but we’re working to try and finalise everything. I’m quite confident that we’ll do it.”
Benitez then commented on the need to trim the current NUFC squad, suggesting a potential problem with players having to be sold before anymore can be signed:
“Every manager wants to sign more players and that is especially important when you are promoted from the Championship to the Premier League.”
“It’s maybe not the same when you’re already in the Premier League and you need three or four maximum.”
“When you are changing division, it’s more difficult and you have to bring more players.”
“But we have a problem, which is obvious, which is we already have too many players.”
“We have to move players out if we want to move players in. That’s something we have to manage between now and the end of the window.”
Benitez’s comments are justified. With several unwanted players on our books, there’s little doubt we will be pushing to offload the likes of Krul, Lazaar, Hanley, Haidara, Saivet and Riviere – who are not only adding to the wage bill, but making for a potentially overcrowded environment in and around the club.
After a potentially positive day in the transfer market for Newcastle yesterday – with Merino considered to be quite a coup – and similarly promising performance, despatching Bradford by 4 goals to nil, things are starting to look up.
Here’s hoping the deadwood can be shifted, not only opening the door for more incomings but adding to Benitez’s transfer kitty in the process.