According to the Mirror’s North-East reporter Simon Bird, Rafa Benitez wants the club’s transfer plans to be sorted before Sunday’s game against Chelsea – also suggesting that there’ll be no excuses when it comes to recruitment this summer.
Talks between Benitez’s camp and the club appear to have been underway for a few weeks now, however the latest comments from Rafa have suggested that they aren’t progressing at any great speed.
With the summer transfer window shortened and a World Cup to contend with, it’s easy to see why Rafa wants this sorted ‘as soon as possible’ – especially when he’s keen to avoid making the same mistakes we made last summer.
Here’s a snippet from Simon Bird’s latest piece for the Mirror:
“Rafa Benitez says there will be no excuses for Newcastle in the transfer market this summer.
“The Spaniard is facing a key week of talks with United hierarchy to discover if they will back him with a budget that shows ambition to challenge for trophies.
“Benitez wants a plan sorted out this week, before Newcastle take on Chelsea on Sunday.
“The manager says difficulties experienced last summer in attracting players should not happen again – because the cub has become established mid-table in the Premier League and has “massive potential” to go further.
“Benitez won’t sign a new long term deal until he has nailed down if he will be given “the tools” to compete – which means a squad strong enough to attack a top eight finish AND the cups.”
The worry with this is Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley just don’t tend to do things quickly – yet this story suggests they have just a few days to sort this mess out.
Some quotes from Benitez were then included in the story, with the Spaniard revealing just why we should be able to compete in the market this summer:
“Now I think we will have more chances to do what we want to convince players to come here.
“The difference last year was that I remember talking to a couple of players and, when you’ve been in the Championship, it’s always… oh fine, the city, the fans, the stadium, the manager, whatever you want to say.
“Some of the players that are already here are young players and didn’t know the Premier League, so they will be better players next year if they continue working in the way they have been working.
“But at the same time you need some players with experience that they can manage these bad runs and these situations where you are panicking a little bit.”
He’s not wrong. Last summer we may have been Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United, but we were still a newly promoted club with a squad full of Championship players. His words here also highlight his wish to add some experience to our ranks this summer – something Ashley has often been reluctant to sanction.
There’s no excuse this summer. We’ll no longer carry that ‘newly promoted’ tag and look set to finish in and around the top 10 too.
The only thing that could limit us this summer is Mike Ashley’s level of ambition. A familiar story when it comes to what’s holding this club back from reaching it’s true potential under Rafa Benitez.
No excuses. Back Rafa and quickly. Failure to do so and Benitez will already seeing the same mistakes being made. Time is precious this summer.