The news from Rafa Benitez today is that Newcastle are tracking players in every single position for the January and summer transfer window, and indeed, the scouts have been out in full force this season.
If everything goes according to plan, we would expect maybe only half of the current starters to be in the side at the end of next year, as Rafa has two transfer windows in which to improve the quality of the team.
And while we could finish in the top 10 this season, Rafa’s long-term goal for the club is to be in the top four, so he can once manage again in the Champions League, where he belongs.
Rafa was not too happy with the summer transfer window when he was not given the necessary funds to improve the side, but maybe January will be different.
Rafa has completed a two and a half hour meeting with the local journalists this week – maybe to give them some decent news during this International break – so that’s great!
The manager also has an excellent relationship with them, and that’s always good to see.
Here ‘s some of what Rafa had to say:
“What you have to do is to look for players in every position.”
“If you are thinking, ‘Oh, we are fine in this position’, then maybe someone will come with a massive offer for a player, maybe you have a long-term injury.”
“So you have to concentrate on certain positions you know you need to strengthen, but still you must not forget about the others because something could happen.”
“In the last window when the fans were talking saying: ‘Oh, we need a No 10. Oh, we need this. Oh, we need that.” “Oh Rafa is talking about the ‘keeper, why is he not talking about the striker?’”
“We were already working on Joselu, but you cannot say to them: ‘Listen, we are working on this.’”
“We have time so we can work on the keeper and the striker and the No 10 or whatever.”
“Are we looking for competition for Perez? Yes. We are looking for competition in every position.”
“But if you don’t sign anyone then you must use the players that you have, and I am quite happy with him.”
“If we can bring someone to compete with Dummett in January, it will be fine too but at the moment I’m happy with the job the others are doing.”
It looks like one of the priorities in January will be for a new number 10 to challenge Ayoze Perez and Mo Diame.
Also a left-back and a striker, and if we can get three good players in to challenge for those starting positions in the team, it would be a good transfer window.