We expect Rafa to bring one or two midfielders in during the summer transfer window and one will be a central midfielder to further increase the competition for places at Newcastle.
That’s even though we are being well served by Shelvey and Diame this year with Mikel Merino and Isaac Hayden as current back-ups.
Newcastle have been closely linked with Besiktas captain Oguzhan Ozyaku for the last month or two.
It looks like Ozyaku is not going to sign a contract renewal with the Turkish club and newspaper Fanatik says he wants to play in the Premier League.
There were reports from Turkey back in early March that Rafa had already talked with the agents of the midfielder and that a deal had even been agreed – but we doubt that was an accurate report.
But maybe Rafa did hold initial discussions at least – saying Newcastle were interested in signing the player.
Arsenal and Everton are two Premier League clubs who are very interested in signing the player, and there will be lots of interest in the 25-year-old 30 times capped Turkish International.
An advantage Everton may have is they have signed his former teammate Cenk Tosun in January, and the two of them get on well.
Ozyaku was born in the Netherlands and the news today is that Newcastle can talk to the player about a pre-contract agreement.
That would allow an agreement to be reached that could be consummated when the summer transfer window opens.
But Newcastle have been able to do that since January.
Besiktas are unwilling and may be unable to meet his wage demands, but for a Premier League club that should not be a problem – even for Mike Ashley and Newcastle.
It’s time for the owner to back his manager this summer and agree to terms for the 25-year-old and get him signed up.
If Mike Ashley helps Rafa sign four or five top players this summer – who knows – Rafa may even sign a new deal to stay on Tyneside.