Rafa is now back in Newcastle and preseason training will start on Monday and Newcastle have now managed to push through the “free transfer” of 29-year-old South Korea captain Li Sung-yueng.
Rafa has to sell players this summer and the Shields Gazette are reporting today that Rafa has no problem with that and he is willing to wheel and deal this summer to improve the quality of the Newcastle squad.
Rafa can sell players to bring in extra transfer funds and he has £40M – £50M in addition to that to spend.
Rafa Benitez – willing to wheel and deal this summer
Rafa now wants to work on selling players like Aleksandar Mitrovic, Matz Sels, Chancel Mbemba, Achraf Lazaar and Jack Colback.
The Gazette reports that early in the summer owner Mike Ashley wanted to know which players Rafa wanted to sell – so that doesn’t exactly point to Rafa being in charge of who he can sell.
But maybe that’s reading too much into what Ashley wanted to know.
What Rafa wants is to be able to sell and buy players as he sees fit – and that seems to be a reasonable request.
Rafa will resist selling and/or want massive fees for specific players he doesn’t want to sell like captain Jamaal Lascelles.
And several clubs have already enquired about Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle and if they are sold Rafa could generate £30M from those transfers.
But he will not want to lose either of them and certainly not Ritchie – but you never know.
Rafa also wants a smaller squad for this season so he may offload more players who are currently on board at Newcastle than we are expecting.
There are now less than six weeks left in this transfer window so Newcastle need to click into top gear quickly.
It helps that some players have now returned from the World Cup with the group stage now over and the knockout rounds start today.