Rafa Benitez Expects First Signing This Coming Week

Rafa Benitez says he is hopeful Newcastle can get somebody through the door this week and before we play at Oxford United in the FA Cup 4th round next Saturday afternoon.

But that’s all Rafa is saying – he’s hopeful of a signing and he’s expecting a signing – and that will at least break the deadlock we have been in for over three weeks in January.

Rafa has also talked about the caliber of player he wants to sign – players that can make the step up to the Premier League.

Rafa Benitez – points the way in training

This is what Rafa has said as reported in the Chronicle:

“Still nothing yet.” “It’s so obvious that we have to balance a little bit the team – I’m expecting something this week, hopefully.”

“But that’s just my feeling, I’m expecting. You can see that still we can improve the side a little bit.”

“In any team, to have players with quality and with the commitment that Ritchie has can always make the difference.”

“It depends on the level as to whether you can play higher in the division or not.”

“But the way that he works and the passion that he plays with means he can play in any division.”

“I will not say that Ritchie was the most surprising summer signing, because then we could talk about Dwight Gayle, and we would say the same.”

“Those players are both doing really well, but Isaac Hayden is also someone who people were not necessarily aware of his level.”

“When I started people were saying: ‘Oh, Rafa doesn’t know the Championship.’”

“But I was talking with a lot of people; talking about a lot of options, of different players, and Ritchie was one of the first names.”

“He is one player that if you sign him, you know you are right.”

That’s a big advantage Rafa has – his many contacts all over the place – who he can phone and get their opinions on various players.

The signings he made last summer of Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, Isaac Hayden and DeAndre Yedlin were simply first class.

Hopefully we have more players to sign before next season kicks off in August – hopefully when we are back in the Premier League – where we belong.

Here’s where we stand in the Championship at the moment.

4Sheffield Wednesday461581

Comments welcome.

29 comments so far

  • lesh

    Jan 22, 2017 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #1

    Could it be that Rafa’s telling the powers that be that HE’s expecting a signing this week – as in just do it or face the consequences.

    And, could it be that the £33m that Ashley’s just advanced the Club is intended to fund these two Croatian lads?

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 22, 2017 at 11:39 PM

    Comment #2

    Seems like these two kids are wanted by some of Europe’s top clubs. One of them turned Liverpool down in the summer and the other wants to play for Barcelona. Just more paper talk.

  • TyneMouth

    Jan 22, 2017 at 11:45 PM

    Comment #3

    Betty; last thread.

    Softening! Moi.

    No, I’m a supporter, had no choice, born in Wallsend, in a one team city!

    I may not always agree with the executive decisions of our club, but as long as I have no reason not to trust the Manager, then I will back Rafa all the way.

    However, I would rather have invested in a creative No 10, or a specialist left wing virtuoso. I can dream perhaps…

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 22, 2017 at 11:55 PM

    Comment #4

    Rafa has already confirmed he is still in charge of transfers. His own words were ‘nothing has changed’. So it’s him that wants to bring Townsend on a loan, nobody else. He has his reasons obviously, he just isn’t sharing them.
    Where did this story come from that Palace are paying in installments? What’s the source? Curious, because why would we pay cash for someone they haven’t paid for yet? Ashley always pays cash for players as I recall. Maybe that’s why we want him on a loan for now then? I can’t imagine anybody giving somebody else cash for anything, if that other person still owes them money. Would you? Damned if I would. Maybe they’re due to pay the balance in the summer, so a loan would be the obvious choice. If the story about Palace is true, that is.

  • TyneMouth

    Jan 22, 2017 at 11:58 PM

    Comment #5

    The rumours and comments about the Townsend transfer mark2, seem to indicate a high degree of probability.

    If the transfer is then enthusiastically endorsed by Rafa then that will be very good news indeed.

    It would mean that the transfer will have Ashley’s approval, with all the financial implications, and that should indicate that Rafa and Ashley are in harmony, singing from the same spreadsheet.

    This doesn’t change what has happened in the past, nothing should be forgotten, and nothing should be forgiven. Keep your eyes open…

  • TyneMouth

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #6


    Repost from earlier today, my understanding of the situation, for what it’s worth…

    It would appear that no one knows for certain all the factors relating to Townsend’s transfer to Palace, and what options are on the table regarding his return to Tyneside.

    If it is correct that Palace triggered Townsend’s release clause, and paid £13m, most people would assume that £13m changed hands.

    However it now appears that an installment of £3m is scheduled to be paid this month. Assuming that this installment is the second one, that leaves £7m outstanding. A third installment is presumed due in the Summer.

    Townsend’s return to SJP will either be as a loan to buy, or a straight forward sale. There have been suggestions that a loan would incur a fee for half a season! If that is true then if we buy Townsend can we expect a loan fee for the first part of this season?

    The reason that Sam wants rid of Townsend is to get funding for a replacement. If, and it’s a very big if, we pay the same as we sold him for, then the only cash Sam would get is the first deposit, (assuming it was paid last August.) which would be £3m. He would also save another £3m due to us this month.

    Either way this transfer will only have a minor value to Palace. A temporary salary reduction at best.

    If Townsend returns where will he play? Drop Ritchie, really!

    Make him the top earner! Explain that to the dressing room, good luck will that.

    This possible transfer would not be debated if Townsend hadn’t chosen Palace in the first place. A player with such appalling lack of career ambition doesn’t deserve the shirt at SJP.

    He’s history, £13m can be better spent elsewhere. Time to move on…

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:22 AM

    Comment #7

    Tynemouth, cheers. So it’s not confirmed then. I understand Spurs are paying in installments for Sissoko, or so we were led to believe. Could that not be two stories getting mixed up? I know Ashley pays cash up front, but Rafa did the deal so who knows? I’d have taken 30m in installments for Sissoko too like, anything to offload him.
    I was thinking maybe the only thing Ashley wanted say on re transfers was how payments are made. If we don’t have the 30m for Sissoko, then it isn’t in the bank. That might explain the loan Ashley made the club, to cover what was left from installment deals? That would make good sense and maybe that was what the so called meeting was about. Ashley is a cash up front person after all. Which would equally explain why Rafa is still in charge, but needs to run them by Ashley if the club intend to pay cash or credit. So he can cover the shortfall whilst awaiting payment. He too might not want to pay Palace anything whilst Palace owe him money and that too makes sense.

  • JamesToon

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:24 AM

    Comment #8

    From what i hear about those 2 croatian lads, they’d be 2 major major signings, the fact that literally europes best clubs are sniffing around them.

    I don’t think it’ll happen though.

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:30 AM

    Comment #9

    James, I said earlier one turned Liverpool down. He said ‘I only had to do the medical and the deal was done, but I preferred to play in the Champions League with my own club.’
    I think it was the other one who said that he intends to play for Barcelona, so any move would be purely a stepping stone towards that target. Confident young git eh? 🙂 Lots of big European clubs are chasing these two so like yourself, I think it’s purely paper talk. From the sound of it they’d walk into our team, but would you leave Co football for Championship football? The very idea is comical imo.

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:32 AM

    Comment #10

    Co football? CL football I meant. I think my phone knew it as well and just likes winding me up. 🙂


    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:33 AM

    Comment #11

    cant see them 2 youngins stories even being remotely true if im honest,townsend aye fair enough but not them….wonder if townsend is the one and only deal….heard nothing else like.

  • TyneMouth

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:36 AM

    Comment #12


    I think your right, the majority of EPL clubs use their credit allowances, it’s the nature of mainstream business.

    Ashley is obviously different, he’s from the barrow-boy culture, Alan ‘suralan’ Sugar was perhaps the last example.

    Ashley’s ‘cash on the barrel-head’ strategy has its advantages, but it needs underwriting, hence the cash advances, maybe.

    Time will tell, keep the faith…

  • expatmag

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #13


    I think this is purely lip service to the press.

    There is usually a precedent set because all to often, our name is linked with very good overseas players which generally comes to nothing.

    I can think of a couple of other Croatian players we have been linked with by their press this season which has come to nothing.

    I doubt there is any truth in this rumour at all.

  • Novocastrian66

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:46 AM

    Comment #14

    More likely their agent trying to stoke up some interest.

  • expatmag

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:57 AM

    Comment #15


    Quite probably but why would they use us as a bargaining tool, so to speak, considering our current situation.

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:58 AM

    Comment #16

    Tynemouth, it just makes so much sense to me, I can’t see anything else it might be. To all intents, Rafa is still in charge, but if Ashley has to keep underwriting the difference, then it’s not unreasonable that he needs to be kept in the picture. It’s a lot of money after all, but when you think about the two sales and the payment already made, 33m sounds about right for the shortfall. It would make ideal sense as to why Rafa wants a loan deal from Palace as well. Why would we give them cash up front for a player who is still technically ours I suppose. It’s like when you buy a house. The house isn’t yours until it’s paid for, it technically belongs to the bank you loaned the money from. Maybe Hippo Heed didn’t realise this at first and thought they’d paid for him. It would also explain why Rafa is confident he can get his man. Like you say mate, time will tell. I hold nothing against Andros anyway. He left for good reason. He was playing great and England came calling. To be honest, I doubt any of us would’ve done it differently if we wanted to play for England again – and who wouldn’t really? He can get his plan back in action because Rafa brings the best out of him. He trusts him. Not surprised he wants to come back in that case. Short period in the Championship and then back to the PL and back on England’s radar. He’s not happy at Palace and who can blame him? First Pardew, then Hippo Heed.

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 23, 2017 at 1:03 AM

    Comment #17

    Expat, maybe it isn’t us, but the alleged 25m offered being used by the agents. That would therefore be their starting point in negotiations? Just more paper stories imo. Not worth even thinking about when you look who else is interested. Strange how we’re the only ones alleged to have made a firm offer – probably the only team mentioned that isn’t looking at them. Same old same old.

  • expatmag

    Jan 23, 2017 at 1:14 AM

    Comment #18


    On Townsend, you could also look at it the other way.

    1….He was going nowhere at Spurs or with England 12 months ago.
    2….No one else came calling for his services and he protected himself well with his release clause which basically meant regardless of NUFC situation, he was probably gone in the summer.
    3…he played well and hit the ground running. To be honest, he had little or no other options if he wanted to stay in the PL and regain his England place.
    4…he was recalled to the England squad whilst a Newcastle player. And considered to be unlucky to miss out on the euros before he left for Palace.
    5….He took the first available option which was Palace, who had one of the worst records in all leagues Europe wide.
    6…His record at Palace is woeful and unless he leaves, he will not regain his England spot especially as he now appears to be even unwanted by aAllardyce.
    7…Who other than us is interested in him? Middlesbrough who are in a similar position to Palace, verging on a relegation fight.
    8…and even then, according to the Daily Mail, it is Townsend who is pushing the loan thing, not us, not Palace. Why is that? Because he wants to still keep his options open in the summer to see who else might be interested in him.
    9…London lad with London lass model girlfriend……..says it all really….in my opinion, he is not committed to us

  • expatmag

    Jan 23, 2017 at 1:21 AM

    Comment #19


    Furthermore, I would really Ike us to sign Atsu. I like him and I also want to see Aaron’s get over his injury problems and get back to his previous form.

    Finally, I certainly don’t want to see Matt Ritchie’s nose put out because I think he is a far far better player than Townsend and contributes more in goals, assists and work rate to the the team.

    Plus Ritchie might be a decent help in getting Callum Wilson in the summer from Bournemouth.

  • expatmag

    Jan 23, 2017 at 1:39 AM

    Comment #20

    Looking ahead to next season, i made a list of what our squad would be at the end of this season, last night and how we could strengthen for a decent PL season if we go up.

    Here is my current squad and I would get rid of

    Darlow, Elliott, Woodman, Sels………………out Krul. (3 plus 1)

    Yedlin, Anita, Sterry, Lascelles, Clark, Hanley, Mbemba, Findlay, Dummett, Lazarus………..out Haidara, Gamez (8 plus 2)

    Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Diame, Perez, Gouffran, Barlaser, Aarons, El ?, Colback………out Ameobi, De Jong, Vukic, Atsu (end of loan) Saviet..(7 plus 3)

    Gayle, Murphy, Armstrong…….out Mitrovic, Rivière (2 plus 1)

    From that, it means we have a total of (20 plus 7)…..20 overage players and 7 under 21s.

    In my opinion, depending on who goes up and comes down, we could sign 5 overage players for the squad and a couple more under 21s of excellent quality

  • lesh

    Jan 23, 2017 at 2:22 AM

    Comment #21

    Now then Berb, how’s thi gannin’ ern? Folks was asking where you were.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jan 23, 2017 at 6:05 AM

    Comment #22

    Ed – you missed out Daryl Murphy from the list of summer signings.

    expatmag – I have to agree with all you said in comments 18/19/20

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 23, 2017 at 6:47 AM

    Comment #23

    I think Townsend is exactly the calibre of player we will need once back. Palace’s problem is defensively. They don’t have the correct balance and quality in the squad, but they do have great attacking strengths of which Townsend is but one, and specifically the one we have an interest in.

    You might question his long term commitment to us should we fail to go back up, but there’s little to suggest he wouldn’t run his socks off for us to win games for the remainder of this season should he return, and the next in the EPL should we be promoted, which, with him in the group, would seem all the more assured.

  • expatmag

    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:07 AM

    Comment #24


    Thanks for your support mate. I know we will ptobably end up with him but I hope it is not at the expense of Atsu

  • LGFUAD21

    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:07 AM

    Comment #25

    I think ameobi could play a part in the eecond half of this season.

    If anyone watched hm at bolton or cardiff youd see that mercurial is the best way to describe him.

    He was capable of producing some very good things whch is why his managers there rated him. Consistency was the issue but maybe rafa can help with that.

    Lad definitely has pace, a decent shot and good skill. Its effort and consistency that he lacks. He also looks like he may snap in two at any minute.

  • expatmag

    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:08 AM

    Comment #26


    Guess we will know more soon then.

  • LGFUAD21

    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:10 AM

    Comment #27

    As for townsend and his move to palace. They looked to be building a good squad in paper in the summer so i dint think it was as stupid a move as some are making out.

    Should andros have seen the potential here and given us a season? Yes. I think the euro snub was the final nail in the coffin. That was a joke to be honest as he was the most in form english winger for the second half of kast season on top of his good record when playing for england.

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:17 AM

    Comment #28

    Yeah I also think Sammy can certainly do a job for us for the remainder of this season. If we do get Townsend though then you’d think he’d likely struggle for game time. Although, with his size, skill and pace, he does have the capacity to eclipse Gouffran and Atsu, but he may not get the opportunity.

  • expatmag

    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:17 AM

    Comment #29


    I like Sammi too but I think this is his level and whilst I would save money for the summer and use Sammy instead, I feel it would be best to release him in the summer, if we get promoted


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