It’s a baffling approach, with the NUFC reporter claiming in the video below that Benitez could have requests to sign a few 29-year-old’s at £5m rejected, yet see the club sanction deals for two £15m players if they fitted into the club’s criteria:
So, if we’re to believe this then it appears to club do have funds available and are willing to spend, but only if the perfect deals arises.
What’s incredible is this approach suggests they honestly believe they know better than Rafa Benitez – and this shows, with it made clear that he had to plead with the board to get deals for Rondon and Fernandez sanctioned (no doubt due to the fact they were nearing their 30’s).
Here’s a snippet from the Chronicle’s transfer piece which addresses Benitez’s transfer situation in a little more detail:
‘Senior sources at St James’ Park insist – just as they did during the summer, and in the Fans Forum minutes back in September – that there are funds available.
However, that is caveated by the explanation that money will be released for the “right players”.
Although Ashley had no day-to-day involvement with the running of the club, his influence is still felt when it comes to transfers – and, ultimately, all significant deals must be ratified by the owner.
Newcastle’s approach to their budget in each window is, as a result, pretty complicated. Essentially there is no specified amount available for the United manager to spend this month.
That does not mean, however, that there aren’t funds available. Funds will be released, depending on the target, but each player is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Therefore, in theory, the powers that be at St James’ Park may be willing to sanction two or three £10million-plus deals put to them by Benitez during one individual window, as long as those signings meet the desired criteria.
This idea of having no budget but allowing Benitez to sign the ‘right player’ (whatever that is!) is convenient, isn’t it.
It allows them to claim there’s money to spend, but it keeps Benitez’s hands well and truly tied. What’s more, doesn’t Miguel Almiron fit into this tedious blue print set by the board? He’s young, hugely talented and will cost less than most quality attacking midfielders in this day and age, yet it seems we’re unwilling to match their asking price.
Mike Ashley may believe finding bargains is the best way forward, but he’s been spoilt by the likes of Cabaye, Tiote, Ba, Schar, Dubravka – you can not expect to keep finding diamonds in the rough for £4-5m.
It’s 2019 – a year where average strikers with one Premier League goal to their name cost the best part of £20m (see Dominic Solanke’s big money move to Bournemouth).
We need to wake up, trust Rafa’s judgement and take the final few weeks of this window seriously before it’s too late.