According to Sky’s Keith Downie, Rafa Benitez is planning to sign Rondon, two full-backs, a couple of midfielders and a right-winger this summer IF he signs a new deal at St James’ Park.
This comes from Sky Sports’ latest transfer piece, with them looking at each Premier League club and assessing what business each may be looking to do this summer.
For the Newcastle United edition, here’s what north-east reporter Keith Downie has had to say, suggesting Rafa will be looking to make at least SIX new signings:
“Newcastle’s summer shopping list all depends on the future of their manager. Rafa Benitez’s contract is up on June 30 and he’s yet to agree a new one.
“If – and it looks likely – he does stay, top of his list will be pinning down Rondon on a permanent transfer. The Venezuelan has been a revelation on his season-long loan from West Brom, but Newcastle would have to rip up their policy of only signing players aged 26 or under for Benítez to get his man.
“In addition to Rondon, Newcastle are in the market for a couple of midfielders, a full-back on either side and another forward to pair with record signing Miguel Almiron.
“Do not be surprised to see Newcastle smash that £21m transfer record again this summer, but the number of arrivals will depend on outgoings – the futures of Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie, Mo Diame and Ayoze Perez are uncertain.”
So, a striker (or two) is essential – and we all know Rafa’s top target – while it’s also easy to see why a couple of midfielders and full-backs are needed.
We lack options capable (or good enough) to play at right wing-back, with Yedlin and Manquillo both limited, whilst Ritchie is our only real option at left wing-back.
In midfield, the likes of Shelvey, Hayden and Diame could ALL leave this summer, so there could be a huge revamp in his position should Rafa stay and get his way this summer. Hopefully Hayden can be convinced to stay, but you can’t help but feel Shelvey and Diame’s time on Tyneside is coming to an end.
As for a right-winger, we do lack options in this area, with Ritchie recently moving to a more defensive role and Atsu and Almiron tending to operate down the left.
Perez has been one of the first names on Rafa’s team sheet, but he’s another who’s been heavily linked with a move away this summer.
With us at risk of losing Rondon, Perez, Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie and Diame ahead of the 2019/20 season, it makes you realise how vital it is that we secure Rafa Benitez this summer.
After all, a summer overhaul looks set to happen regardless of what happens to Rafa, but it’s absolutely essential that we have someone of Benitez’s experience and expertise to oversee it.