The club’s official media partners, The Chronicle, have provided a promising update ahead of the January transfer window, claiming that the Benitez will receive the latest instalment of Premier League cash to add to his winter transfer kitty – meaning there will be money to spend in January regardless of a takeover occurring by then or not.
They key statement from The Chronicle being – “Newcastle WILL have money to spend in the window, even if Ashley is in charge.”
It is stated that Rafa has met with new head of recruitment Steve Nickson to assemble a Plan A and Plan B for recruitment.
Plan A understood to consist of a slightly more adventurous list of targets they will be able to pursue should Amanda Staveley and her middle-east billions arrive by January, and Plan B being a slightly more constricted list of targets – forcing NUFC to fish out some more diamonds in the rough like Mikel Merino and Florian Lejeune.
Nonetheless, it is positive to hear that Benitez will have funds available to him in January – with the Chronicle claiming he will prioritise moves for strikers and a number 10 to give Ayoze Perez some much needed competition.
Now, you may wonder why Ashley would be giving Rafa money to spend in January just before he bows out of NUFC?
A fair point, but the report explains here just why it is now in Ashley’s best interests to keep Rafa and the club in a stable position prior to selling up:
‘Mike Ashley’s lawyer Andrew Henderson said at the time of confirming the club is up for sale that funds would be made available in January even if he was still in charge and there is business sense behind that decision.
‘The Newcastle owner is petrified of the costs associated with another relegation – indeed, it’s understood to be part of the reason for his public declaration to sell – and will be aware that if Newcastle drop into a relegation fight it undermines his valuation and could, ultimately, lead to a ruinous drop into the Championship. It’s unlikely he’d risk that – even if there is no chance of him personally injecting funds to bankroll a January spend.’
As this explains, it’s now in Ashley’s interests to protect our position for potential buyers.
The money Rafa receives in January may not be out of his pocket, but the arrival of the TV money in the first few days of January looks set to go towards Rafa’s winter transfer kitty, with the sale of De Jong, Hanley, Krul and Riviere in the closing stages of the summer window also helping his cause for January spending.