According to the Chronicle, Rafa Benitez has ‘made it clear’ that he’d like to sign attacking trio Kenedy, Salomon Rondon and Andros Townsend this summer – however he’s aware that deals for all three may be unrealistic unless he raises additional funds.
It’s been reported that Rafa has an initial pot of around £45m to spend this summer. This is a total which will be topped up by player sales – and it seems like one of those may be Matt Ritchie, with strong claims on Monday night that he’s all set to sign for Stoke.
With Kenedy and Townsend both rated at around £20m and Rondon’s release clause being £16m, we’d be looking at upwards of £60m for the three after agent/signing on fees – highlighting the importance of player sales given that total exceeds Rafa’s alleged budget.
Lee Ryder’s confirmed that progress seems to be being made as far as transfer talks between Benitez, the board and our recruitment team are concerned, but our ability to sign the likes of Kenedy, Rondon and Townsend may hinge on sales:
‘Benitez was on Tyneside this week to hold meetings with the club’s hierarchy, and on a brighter note further talks with club officials and the club’s head of recruitment Steve Nickson are then believed to have taken place in London to review a revised player shortlist.
‘Benitez has made it clear he wants targets such as Kenedy, Andros Townsend and Salomón Rondón, but the club could not afford to bring in all three based on the limited budget that is currently available to the manager.
‘The Magpies will have more room to manoeuvre if they sell Aleksandar Mitrovic, Chancel Mbemba and Matz Sels, but despite receiving interest from a clutch of clubs for the trio, they are yet to agree any fees for any of them just yet.’
With Matt Ritchie (£15m), Aleksandar Mitrovic (£20m), Mikel Merino (£10m), Dwight Gayle (£10m) and Chancel Mbemba (£8m) all heavily linked with moves elsewhere, Rafa’s transfer kitty could be topped up significantly if he does receive decent fees for several of these.
It’s not the way we like to see us do business, but cashing in on the likes of Mitrovic, Ritchie and Merino to sanction deals for Kenedy, Rondon and Townsend could see our starting 11 improve considerably – and that’s what Benitez will be pushing to achieve this summer.
For example, it looks like Rafa *might* have already agreed to cash in on Ritchie in a bid to bring back Townsend. Would that improve us in the Premier League? Probably.
If Matt Ritchie is off. A great player 16/17 and important last season
It didn’t quite make sense that Bournemouth were willing to let him go at first but history is repeating itself
We need to score more goals and need more pace.
Rafa is ruthless. The best managers are.
— True Faith #NUFC Podcast (@tfweeklypod) July 2, 2018