By Andrew Campbell
According to The Chronicle this morning, Rafa Benitez has now been given the ‘green light’ to complete three new signings before Thursday’s deadline – believed to be Salomon Rondon, a left-back and a ball playing centre-back to cover for Florian Lejeune.
Whilst this is all a bit ‘too little too late’ from the board, it seems Rafa’s recent comments have finally forced the board into action – albeit with just over 4 days of the window left to run!
Here’s a snippet from The Chronicle’s promising transfer piece piece:
‘Rafa Benitez has had his request for more players approved by the powers that be at Newcastle United – providing he works within the tight financial framework at St James’ Park.
‘The Toon chief should be handed a striker, a left-back and a centre-back before the deadline on August 9.
‘He is frustrated that Newcastle have left it so late again but hopes to see a breakthrough soon.
‘Paris Saint-Germain full-back Stanley N’Soki is a player Benitez is still keen on while Salomon Rondon is also close to finally joining the club.
‘A third player could come in the shape of a centre-back with Benitez wanting a ball playing defender.’
So, Rondon looks all set to sign from West Brom on loan with an option to buy, with Gayle going the other way, however Rafa is clearly keen to get in a left back to provide cover and competition for Paul Dummett.
PSG left back Stanley N’Soki, 19, is the main target according to The Chronicle, however his highly impressive performance in the French Super Cup yesterday, may make that deal that bit tougher to complete. Other targets (based on recent reports) appear to be Bristol City’s Joe Bryan and Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico.
After the arrival of Fabian Schar it seemed the centre half positions were all covered but with Florian Lejeune looking likely to be out for most of the season, Rafa is looking for a ball playing centre half as a like for like replacement .
There haven’t been a great deal of targets rumoured, with Swansea’s Federico Fernandez and Mexican free agent Diego Reyes mentioned, but no offers yet. Whoever it may be, a loan deal seems most likely.
Whilst this appears to be a positive step following Rafa’s worrying interview after the Braga defeat, we would still look short of options in the No 10 role and maybe even another striker, but after the lack of activity this summer , any signings would be an improvement and a positive step.
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