Speaking during Sky Sports’ latest Transfer Talk podcast, North-East reporter Keith Downie has admitted that it’s now ‘highly unlikely‘ that Rafa Benitez will even receive a big chunk of the cash Newcastle receive for the sale of Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Serbian has been on holiday following his World Cup exploits in Russia, however it’s emerged over the last few days that a £20m move to Fulham is all but done, with some even reporting that he’ll sign at Craven Cottage over the weekend.
I’m not expecting Fulham to hand us a lump sum of £20m the day the deal goes through as transfers don’t seem to work like that, but to hear Rafa isn’t going to be given his fair share following a sale is just unacceptable.
Given the ‘sell to buy’ admission by Benitez earlier in the week, it was hoped and expected that Mitrovic’s sale would FINALLY give us some money to spend on a new striker – so this is taking things to a new extreme by Ashley.
After speaking to the Spaniard in Ireland this week, here’s what Keith Downie’s had to say during Sky’s latest podcast (33 minutes in), admitting that he’s now ‘unlikely’ to even be handed much of the cash from Mitrovic’s sale:
“The thing that got to me that Rafa said was essentially they need to sell before they buy’ players.’
“But even if they do, I get the impression if they were to sell Aleksandar Mitrovic tomorrow for £18-20m – which I think is going to go through – it’s my understanding that he will not even get all of that money.”
So, despite him claiming that ‘every penny’ generated by the club would be reinvested, it seems that Mike Ashley won’t even release full amounts of money from player sales – never mind any of the £123m the club received last season.
Looking at our transfers so far, we should have seen this coming. Merino was sold for £10m yet we’ve replaced him with a free agent (Ki Sung-Yueng) and we clearly showed no intention of spending big to secure Kenedy on a permanent deal, opting for a loan instead.
It’s bad enough when we show a lack of ambition and struggle to get the necessary deals done, but this is a step too far.
Click here (or see below) to listen to the full podcast for yourself (Keith Downie talks NUFC from 31 minutes onwards)
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) July 21, 2018