With Newcastle United extremely close to safety in the Premier League after another long and hard season, Rafa is reported to be working on his summer recruitment plans.
The club made a mess last summer of trying to sign the manager’s top targets with only Florian Lejeune being acquired, and that was after a couple of months of things dragging on and on.
Rafa will no doubt want to see new faces coming into Newcastle early this summer.
Players who can score goals will be his top priority, and we expect two new strikers to be brought in by the Spanish manager.
Rafa will want to sign loan players Kenedy and goalkeeper Dubravka, but we still have to see Islam Slimani start a game for Newcastle.
Rafa will need to see what impact he makes before he can make any decision on the 29-year-old Algerian striker.
If Slimani looks good in the remaining six games of the season, Benitez could sign him or even take him on loan for next season with an option to buy.
We have been linked with Nice forward Alassane Plea in the last couple of days, and he has been in excellent form for his club this season, scoring 18 goals in 44 games and last term he scored 14 goals in 32 games.
Newcastle have again been linked with Sporting Lisbon striker Bas Dost, but his transfer fee could be too high for Newcastle this summer – as it was last year.
Liverpool striker and former target Danny Ings is playing again for Liverpool and Rafa may want to sign the 25-year-old former Burnley striker permanently this summer – if he’s available.
Rafa has also linked with his former Liverpool striker Athletico Madrid’s Fernando Torres, who will leave his hometown club this summer.
However, we would be surprised if Rafa signs the 34-year-old since he is well past his best and his wages will be high.
Rafa will also want to bring in a center-back, full-back, winger, and creative midfielder in addition to possibly two new strikers and a goalkeeper (Dubravka).
The manager can sell players like Mitrovic, Mbemba, Colback, and Gayle and use those funds to bring in new players this summer.