NUFC reporter reveals what Mike Ashley’s told Rafa Benitez – but the story doesn’t add up at all

According to Lee Ryder, Mike Ashley has told Rafa Benitez that he will be operating at the ‘lower end’ of the market this summer – something which doesn’t add up after the same article suggested the budget is around £40-£45m PLUS player sales.

The article suggests that Rafa will have to ‘shop in the bargain basket’ once again this summer, but the same piece states that he’ll have a similar budget to last year (£40m) PLUS money from players sales – and that last bit is key, and main reason why I and several other NUFC fans have been left a little confused here.

‘Bargain basement’ buys suggest more incomings similar to the £5m arrivals of Joselu and Javier Manquillo last summer, but I’m struggling to see why we’d be resorting to these type of signings if it’s true that Rafa has around £40-45m (the amount he was given last year) plus player sales – especially when these sales look set to give us at LEAST another £30m from Mbemba and Mitrovic alone.

Here’s a snippet from the Chronicle’s latest piece. Does anyone struggle to see how we’d be scrapping in the market if our budget is last summer’s amount PLUS player sales?

“Rafa Benitez is believed to have been told he will be operating at the lower end of the transfer market this summer.

“Mike Ashley said publicly last summer that he could not compete with the Premier League’s big boys and that message is understood to have been repeated and transmitted back to the manager again this summer.

“And while a big chunk of TV money is due next month in Newcastle’s bank account, the Magpies will continue to cut their cloth accordingly.

“He knows that he can’t expect a clutch of marquee signings and will instead look to find a striker, right-back, midfielder, and winger with what is thought to be a modest budget.

“It is now understood that Benitez will have to fight to get signings done this summer with a kitty similar to last summer on offer plus potential additional funds if the likes of Chancel Mbemba, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jack Colback are sold.”

The last line is key. If Rafa has a similar budget to last year (a summer where we spent just over £40m) plus all money from sales (which could easily be over £40m), then I’m really struggling to see why we’re in such a bad position?

What confuses me is the Chronicle wrote a piece just las month titled ‘WOR CHEST’, claiming Rafa was set to be backed with £50m plus player sales.

It was a pretty positive piece (see headline below) and the budget discussed was almost exactly the same as what they’re claiming today. With that in mind, I’m wondering how things can suddenly be viewed so negatively when this budget appears to be pretty healthy?

Yes we haven’t secured signings as early as we wanted, but I’m struggling to see how we’ll be shopping for bargains if we’re expected to see last summer’s budget (£40m) almost doubled thanks to player sales..

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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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