Rafa Benitez has discussed his plans ahead of the January transfer window, suggesting there are certain players we will not be able to sign even if a takeover occurs, but stating that his NUFC scouts will look for ‘good players’ regardless of a takeover occurring in time.
Interestingly, the story from The Chronicle also included this little passage, revealing that Rafa is ‘working on two lists’, one based on a takeover (offering him additional funds) and one where he relies on Mike Ashley’s limited backing:
“Benitez is working on two lists: one that would utilise extra funds and one that would be based on a more limited budget under Mike Ashley – which would be made up of the profits from the end of the summer window and the estimated £10-15million payment from the Premier League central funds that arrives in the middle of the winter.”
Here’s what Benitez has had to say about the situation:
“The first thing you are looking for is good players. Then you put a list of good players and after you put the prices. So we are looking for good players. Then if they cannot come here, OK, we will go there. But still we have a list.
“I have told the scouts to just look for good players and after we will decide where we are. It is too early, but we have to have the names. One side or the other side (of a takeover happening), we have to have the names. They have to do that.
“There are players that you cannot sign, even if you have money, you cannot sign these players because they play Champions League, Europa League or whatever with a top side. So you cannot waste time with these players. But the others you have to know all of them and be ready.”
With Amanda Staveley and her party in the due diligence phase of potentially taking over at the club, there’s been a lot of talk about what the budget could be in January IF a takeover does take place.
An exciting prospect, however it is worth mentioning that Benitez is expected to be given funds by Ashley in January even if a takeover has not been finalised by then. Those funds would be limited you’d think – especially when compared to the war chest Benitez could be handed if new owners are in – however it’s reassuring to here he will be backed in January regardless.
The Chronicle state that Benitez is looking at ‘a ‘number ten’, a left-back and a striker’ this winter and is ‘prepared to go into the loan market if needs be’ in the January window – three areas that certainly need investment.