Revealed: TEN budget buys on Rafa’s radar ahead of the January transfer window

With a potential takeover moving at a snails pace, Rafa Benitez looks set to work on a real budget ahead of what could be a crucial January transfer window for the club.

With this in mind, The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas has revealed TEN potential targets that Rafa may have his eye on in an interesting piece by the club’s official media partner this week.

Here we’ve had a look through each budget option they’ve featured and gave our verdict on whether they’d represent good business or not for NUFC this winter:

Sandro Ramirez (Everton)

Douglas states that ‘Benitez might fancy his chances of re-invigorating him’ after making attempts to sign the Spanish U-21 striker over the summer. He’s not been given much of a chance at Everton so far, so could be made available for loan if he continues to be left out the team.

He scored 14 goals in La Liga last season and would be a decent option – being capable of playing in several attacking positions or as a central striker.

Lazar Markovic (Liverpool)

He’s not featured for Liverpool all season after failing to secure a summer move away despite his impressive loan spell at Hull over the second half of the 2016/17 campaign.

January gives him another chance to secure a loan or on a permanent move away and he could be worth a look. Rafa seems to be keen on signing players of promise in a bid to revitalise their career’s and the ex-Benfica the winger fits into that category.

Danny Ings (Liverpool)

Douglas states that ‘Benitez is understood to be keen on a loan move and the striker would welcome the opportunity to get first team minutes.’, meaning this one could be a go-er in January.

There’ll be plenty of Premier League competition, but he’s a player that’d most likely be an upgrade on what we have and one who’ll be hungry to get back on the pitch after several spells out.

Lewis Holtby (Hamburg)

‘Newcastle were made aware of his availability in the summer’ according to Mark’s piece in the Chronicle and it seems he could be sold in January after falling out with Hamburg’s boss. His contract expires next year so he could be signed for a cut-price fee in January.

He’s an energetic number 10 with Premier League experience from his time at Spurs and would be a good addition to the squad for me.

Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

The piece states that NUFC ‘have made contact with the Red Devils to enquire about a possible loan move’, but there’d be plenty competition for this one (and even a loan deal wouldn’t come cheap!)

It’d be a great coup to have him in at left-back, however we’d stand no chance with regards to a permanent deal if Mike Ashley was still in charge next month. This one looks unlikey to me, even on loan.

Charly Musonda (Chelsea)

‘Musonda was another player considered by Benitez’ over the summer according to Douglas here. He’s rated highly at Chelsea but has been restricted to cup appearances this season so could be available one loan.

A winger isn’t a priority for us, but he may be worth a look to give us some added pace and spark – although doesn’t he fall into the bracket of Aaron and Murphy?

James McCarthy (Everton)

A reoccurring Benitez target, with Douglas revealing that ‘Newcastle made a loan move for him and were knocked back by Ronald Koeman’ last January. He reckons he might be available this time around however, so a loan move may be feasible next month IF Rafa feels he needs another midfielder.

A permanent deal seems out of the question, with a £25m asking price mooted over the summer, however I’d prefer to stay away from him altogether given his awful injury record.

Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City)

Mark confirmed that Benitez was ‘keen’ on the Frenchman over the summer, but states that we ‘could not afford the £12.5million asking price’.

We probably don’t need any more in at cenre-back, but Douglas reckons ‘a potential loan move might make more financial sense’ if Rafa revisited this one next month.

Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid)

“His representatives have made contact with Benitez to tell him he’s ready to come back to the Premier League to play regularly” according to Douglas, and he would add some know-how and experience to our striker options, but he doesn’t look like being the answer.

Big wages, ageing and not nearly the player he once was, so unlikely to be the striker we turn to or are able to afford this winter?

Hatem Ben Arfa (Paris Saint Germain)

The piece reveals that Ben Arfa ‘would love to return to St James’ Park’ however you just can’t see this one happening under Rafa Benitez.

He has all the flair in the world as we know, but in terms of his work rate and character, I can’t see Benitez touching him with a barge pole.


Personally, I’d welcome the arrival of Sandro, Ings, Shaw, Holtby  or Markovic, feel the likes of Mangala, Musonda and McCarthy would be unnecessary and deem Torres and Ben Rafa to be very unlikely.

Let us know your thoughts on this lot folks? Any deal here you’d particularly like to see NUFC get done in January?

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at & 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.

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