With the gaffer now back on Tyneside following our pre-season trip to Ireland, Rafa Benitez has admitted that he is now ‘hopeful’ that the club will seal summer signing number four before the squad heads to Portugal this time next week.
With only Dubravka, Ki and Kenedy secured so far and just £4m spent, it’s fair to say we’ve got a lot to do between now and deadline day on August 9th – which, quite frighteningly, is just over three weeks away.
Benitez opened up about his transfer frustrations yesterday, admitting he may have to sell before he can buy as the club continue to ‘wheel and deal’, however it looks like signing number four may be finally edging closer.
Here’s what Rafa’s had to say when asked by the Chronicle if he’ll have a new signing through the door before the squad head to Portugal this time next week:
“We hope to have somebody and we will continue working and trying to do the best for the squad.”
He doesn’t sound adamant (would you be if a deal was in Charnley’s hands?), however it sounds to me like Rafa’s quite confident of getting someone in soon – backed up by the fact he said a new striker signing was a matter of ‘when not if’ just yesterday.
It’s perhaps due to the fact Aleksandar Mitrovic – who’s said to be ‘closing in’ on a move to Fulham – looks all set to earn us £20m (backing up the sell to buy suggestion), but it’s positive to hear that a new signing may be close.
The question now is who could it be? Ki was a signing out the blue, so don’t rule out a name we’re yet to be linked with, however it sounds like Salomon Rondon may be the man that comes in once Mitrovic’s move to Fulham is finalised.
Who knows though – especially when reports on Merseyside claimed earlier today that we’re now in for Liverpool’s Divock Origi.
Either way, I’ll just be happy to see someone sign if it eases Rafa’s frustrations and improves our striker options.