Spellman claims that Ashley has now sanctioned moves to bring in up the three new players over the remainder of the transfer window, having accepted Benitez’s argument that the club need ‘help’ to secure Premier League survival this season (how he hasn’t seen this sooner is beyond me!).
It’s positive news to hear (and also worth listening to given it comes from a reputable source), however it does make question why Ashley’s taken so long to sanction this. We’re now into the second half of the window and, being a cynical NUFC fan, I can’t help but wonder if this has been agreed to so he can play the ‘at least we tried’ card if things don’t quite work out.
We shall see, however this must be seen as a real positive development.
Here’s what Spellman had to say during his piece for the Press Association today:
“Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has been given the go-ahead to bring in up to three new signings to help in the fight for Premier League survival.
“Press Association Sport understands that owner Mike Ashley has sanctioned the move having accepted the Spaniard’s argument that he needs further help if he is to keep the club in the top flight and secure another instalment of the riches that would bring.
“However, it is understood that Benitez and managing director Lee Charnley will have limited funds with which to work as they step up their ongoing efforts to bolster a squad which was left short during the summer transfer window.
“The manager drew up a series of targets some time ago and hoped to have new additions in place by this Saturday, although with the January market proving as difficult as ever, progress has been painfully slow.
“Efforts to tie up a loan deal for Chelsea youngster Kenedy have been held up at the Stamford Bridge end, while Liverpool striker Danny Ings has indicated he would prefer to stay at Anfield and fight for his place after his return to fitness.
“With time fast running down, Newcastle will hope for movement on one or both fronts, while at the same time turning their attention to alternatives. Benitez could boost his pot and free up wages by offloading current members of his squad with Jack Colback and Henri Saivet among those considered surplus to requirements.
“However, he has insisted he has no plans to sell any player currently playing amid speculation over the futures of Chancel Mbemba, Jonjo Shelvey and Christian Atsu.”
To keep us all grounded, it does state that Benitez and Lee Charnley will be working on ‘limited funds’, however it is a bonus to hear we*might* still be able to bring in permanent signings this month, opposed to solely relying on loan deals (which is all that’s seemed possible so far this month).
Good to hear, but actions speak louder than words. It’s a difficult month to do business, but it’s time for us to step up and start strengthening our sub-par squad.
With survival at stake, this really could be a massive two weeks in Newcastle United’s future.