Benitez Now In A Difficult Position To Strengthen Squad This Month


The Sun is reporting that Mike Ashley has told Rafa Benitez he must essentially sell before he can but this month.

If that’s true, it’s going to be very difficult for Rafa to bring in some good players this month since January is always a difficult month.

Mike Ashley returns from his vacation in the US this week, so hopefully, things can be sorted out between the manager and the owner.

At the very least Rafa needs to know if he will get any transfer funds directly from the club to strengthen the squad.

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

It’s difficult to know what exactly is happening but players like Jack Colback, Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Chancel Mbemba could be sold this month – but that could take time; time that’s not available in the next three weeks.

It appears Rafa knows exactly who he wants in, and hopefully Managing Director Lee Charnley has gone out and made inquiries on the availability of Rafa’s top transfer targets.

But if Mike Ashley really will not give Rafa any of the club funds he could be setting himself up to lose a lot of money on his Newcastle investment of £263M.

THere are just 5 points between 18th placed Stoke City, and 10th placed Watford, so it’s wide open as to who can be relegated this season.

There should be some clarity on the situation when Mike Ashley returns this week, but if these reports are accurate, it could be scary.

If we can’t strengthen this month, it could put Newcastle in a difficult situation for the remainder of the season.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


34 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #1

    You will find this article filed under

    “Business as Usual”

    5
  • Bobbybee

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #2

    My dream just turned into a nightmare ffs. I suppose this was inevitable really. Too late to risk selling players really – nice timing Ashley.
    Oh well, I can live with Championship football again I suppose and it would certainly ruin Ashley’s hopes of getting 300m for a Championship club.
    Luckily we still have the same team that got us promoted thanks to Ashley, just a shame we won’t have Rafa.
    Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face eh?

    8
  • Our Toon

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #3

    Bobby

    I think a quality keeper will win us more points than a fit and sensible Shelvey would for the remainder of the season. For example Trapp.

    I also think against West ham away we played with more pace and power with our 2 best central midfielders missing but I would look at someone on the continent to replace Shelvey like viera from las palmas

    3
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #4

    If it is true that RAFA has to sell to buy
    Yes, get rid of Colback and a couple of fringe players – not worth much tho.

    Then I would rather stick with what we have in Mitro, Shelvey, and Mbemba because if we sell we might not get anyone in in time – ie the Carroll debacle on the last day.

    Plus we could get worse in that we have at the minute – RAFA’s buying is not the greatest – mind you all Managers have bought duds

    1
  • Our Toon

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #5

    If this article is true then it begs the question as to what is happening to the money the club generates?

    13
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #6

    What on earth made me even think for a minute, given the situation we’ve found ourselves in that there would be two key signings announced in the first week of January.

    5
  • Tsunki

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #7

    This is one of the most pivotal months in the Ashley era. Dragging their backsides across the carpet now is pure insanity. If they think they are being clever by gambling the fortunes of this club when we are only a game or two the wrong side of relegation then there is a serious case of putting some of these goons forward as rope testers.

    12
  • Tsunki

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #8

    If Colback has had his nose whacked by Rafa it would please him greatly to bed in like a tick knowing it will cost him a player he wants.

    1
  • Our Toon

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #9

    Charlie

    Not all managers will get every signing right. Mitro isn’t being used at all so to keep him would be daft. He’s below Gayle, joselu and Perez in the pecking order. Colback is another that can go as he’s not had a kick all season.

    2
  • Our Toon

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #10

    I’m off to the beach now, I check to see if there is any ladies wrestling on that I can watch

    4
  • DubaiMicky

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #11

    Hang on guys, this is The Sun remember. Total bollocks and click bait as usual – who writes/believes this crap?

    8
  • SColl

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #12

    couple of points, i for one don’t think we should sell Shelvey, not this window anyway. When he turns it on there is no one better in our squad, granted he can be liablity at times but a moment of brillance will outweight his stupidity. Secure premier league status and then sell in the summer.

    Secondly, this Beardsley situation, this just shows to me that a takeover is in progress. No way can the club stand by him if what’s been said is true, surely youd be suspended/leave until further investigation. Charnley probably not getting involved because he knows his days are numbered, just a thought.

    3
  • catchy in norway

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #13

    paper must be sold, story’s have to be written, but so ther have to be true?
    just yesterday Rafa and Ashley were on the same page.

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #14

    Our Toon, looking and getting are a million miles apart matey. We need to survive this season and it would take overseas players time to settle in. I think, in all honesty, if we can’t buy anyone – which looks less and less likely – then we’re better off with what we have right now.
    I had us to finish 15th, but I’ll settle for 17th on GD.
    Ashley appears to be playing chicken with our club right now. He’s hoping Staveley will buy now rather than risk relegation but I think she’ll walk with this news and look elsewhere.
    How much would a hitman cost? Not a PL striker, I mean an actual hitman? Can’t buy him out, can we not take him out? (For legal purposes I’ll say this is just tongue in cheek by the way).

    3
  • Sultan of Broonale

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #15

    The only thing that gives me hope is that Rafa is still here. Surely he would walk if the takeover had broken down and he was expected to sell again without replacement.

    The Shelvey link makes no sense despite reservations about his temperament and consistency.

    Are we really going to sell one of our most talented players to, ostensibly, a relegation rival?

    Would we really sell for 12m – similar to what we paid for him – when transfer fees have spiraled in the last 12 months?

    There’s no way Ashley will sell Shelvey from under Rafa without Rafa’s full knowledge. So if it did happen, then surely it’s because Rafa knows there will be a changing of the guard and time to bring in several quality players before the end of the window.

    2
  • Optimistic Panda

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #16

    It’s just another January day in the office for Charnley and Ashley.

    Just have to hope the takeover goes through or Rafa can pull a rabbit out is ar5e

    1
  • Optimistic Panda

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #17

    I wonder if Torq toon knows anything, man have have us a idea of what’s really happening in the background

    2
  • Optimistic Panda

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #18

    Might have

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #19

    Unless George Caulkin or another trusted journo writes it. I think we can take what’s written in the red tops and other tabloids with a pinch of salt. Not sure what Ashley getting back from holidays has got to do with our transfer business. Did he not say he didn’t get involved?

    4
  • Tsunki

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #20

    Wouldn’t be another day in the NUFC supporters office if it wasn’t absolute torture though, would it? 😀

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #21

    OP,
    Wasn’t Torq Toon just a physio at some French club, even if he was still there I doubt he’d know more than say, Micky Quinn.

    0
  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #22

    I think we all know how this is going to play out now. The normal starve Rafa of funds scenario, gamble on staying up. If we miraculously do then Ash gets his TV money which we won’t see much of and demands 500-600M for a sale to which Amanda says do one. Rinse and repeat.

    Alternatively if we go down everyone loses. I hold nothing against hibbitt, shire, sparky , dubai etc, but we’re dealing with a different animal in Ashley who will change the goal posts to suit his own twisted agenda at the drop of a hat.

    8
  • Bobbybee

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #23

    Oh well, things to do. Places to go, people to see etc. So glad I caught that last article to cheer me through the day. 🙂 This is so so the Newcastle I’ve followed all my teenage/adult life – from one disaster to the next. It all started with Westwood the Pirate and went constantly downhill from then – with only SJH shining a bit of light on proceedings.
    One day lads, one day… 🙂 If you don’t laugh you inevitably cry bitter tears.
    It’s just the hope isn’t it? You get that hope and then someone rips it from you once again.
    Amanda Staveley riding in on that white horse, sword raised in triumph actually had me going for a while… I should’ve known better after all these years. 🙂 Later lads.

    12
  • TheJimBelow

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #24

    Long time reader first time poster lads.
    Taking this report with a bucket of salt given its source being The Sun!
    The alternative (believing it as fact) is honestly a horrible thought as I do not think there is a manager alive today who could swap around these players and come out stronger.
    Ashley never ceases to amaze me with his brutal running of the club, but surely that would just be suicidal and can NOT be the actual plan?!?

    Surely….

    2
  • Tsunki

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #25

    Disney must have a serious multi-park hopper deal on for Ashley to hang around in the orange state when one of his biggest personal deals is going down.

    1
  • geordiemark

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #26

    the takeover talk via the media just the same as the transfers via the media all made up but I wouldn’t put nothing past Ashley

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #27

    Welcome to the blog TheJimbelow,
    Very refreshing to have a long term reader first time poster who doesn’t immediately go on to attack another poster while quoting nineteenth century dead poets or recommending Carras book.

    3
  • dannitoon

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #28

    You never know MA jet might crash.. of course the pilot n crew plus all other passengers will have parachutes and survive

    1
  • hibbit

    Jan 9, 2018 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #29

    don’t give up now lad’s
    if this deal wasn’t going down (and it is) Rafa would be long gone he wouldn’t be hanging round letting Ashley make a fool of him to proud and horable for that !!!!!
    Rafa’s in the loop knows exactly were the deals at and when it will happen
    just keep the faith a little longer the good times are just round the corner

    10
  • Geordie-john

    Jan 9, 2018 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #30

    IF the Sun isn’t telling porky’s AGAIN then I’m not surprised at all as it’s Fatman’s style all over. Could this be his final chance to strip some more profit from the club before take a more realistic price for the club. It’s just like his stores clothing that are turned out with sale tags already on from the sweat shop that makes them. GREEDY COCK-ney, The sooner you go the better !

    1
  • Geordie-john

    Jan 9, 2018 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #31

    Comment 30.
    Apologies for the spelling. Written in anger ( For a change ) LOL

    0
  • lochinvar

    Jan 9, 2018 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #32

    If and it’s a big “IF” Rafa has to work with the existing squad and only add to it when he’s sold and/or adjusted the wages bill then doesn’t that suggest that he has to maintain the status quo.

    In other words neither Ashley or Amanda’s Group can commit to splashing cash on new players simply because they are both waiting for the deal to go through and both are effectively in limbo as neither has full control ( other than Ashley on the way out off the door ).

    Rafa know this and is man enough to live with it because he knows what the future will bring, especially if he’s an integral part of that. In the meantime it’s his decisions on players that matters so Shelvey going to West Ham may have legs if Rafa wants to get him off the current wage bill and recoup say £15m towards that elusive new striker and keeper that he so craves. He may feel that we can achieve the results we all crave with a better balanced side and without the antics of Shelvey who alongside Mitro and Colback could generate £35million and a reduction in current wages that allows room to manoeuvre with incoming loans or signings.

    It’s getting tedious I know but I keep telling myself there must be a plan so lets hope so.
    Rafa is the Godfather and Matchmaker in this scenario so how it develops may rest solely on his shoulders until Ashley and Amanda send smoke out of the chimney indicating that the former is history and the latter the future.

    0
  • james589

    Jan 9, 2018 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #33

    Regardless of takeover progress, how on earth can it be possible that we have to sell to buy? That was what Rafa told late in the summer window when he shipped out Riviere, de Jong, Mbabu, Hanley, Murphy, not to mention Sels, Krul, Armstrong, and Lazaar on loan – only to have the rug pulled from under his feet and bring in next to no one as replacement. We’ve seen this game too many times before – Ashley is penny pinching either to avoid having to put his hand in his pocket (temporarily or permanently) and is taking a massive gamble on our PL status and thereby the club’s valuation by failing to invest once again.

    The sour taste in MA’s mouth will of course be the money he spent in the winter window under McClaren 2 years ago which failed to secure our PL status (buying Shelvey, Townsend, and Saivet and of course the highly successful loan of Doumbia). You could argue Benitez is more competent than McClaren but Ashley knows that even if he spends £30m+ there are no guarantees, so looks like he’s willing to keep his money in his pocket and take the chance that we have enough and there will be 3 worse teams than us come May.

    0
  • mfw13

    Jan 9, 2018 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #34

    Although Ashley’s strategy sucks for supporters, it is eminently logical.

    Financially, there is very little difference between 7th and 17th. So all he cares about is putting just enough $$$ into the club to avoid relegation. For him, there isn’t a meaningful difference between 10th and 15th, and he knows we can’t compete financially with the Big Six.

    1

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