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Is Rafael Bentiez Running Out Of Patience With Mike Ashley As Newcastle United Fail To Bring In New Recruits?

Rafa Benitez’s tone was diplomatic but there no disguising the seriousness of his message.

The Newcastle United boss was asked on Monday about the club’s transfer activity this summer and his response was telling.

The Spaniard told the media in no uncertain terms that he expected Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to keep his promise on transfer funds.

Last summer, a major overhaul saw him spent £55m on 12 players but achieve a £30m transfer profit after raising £85m in sales from his newly-relegated squad.

After falling out of the top flight, it remained to be seen whether Benitez would fancy the long slog of the Championship.

He did, and after signing a three-year deal in May 2016, Benitez proved worth every penny of his reported £5m annual salary.

He led the Magpies straight back into the Premier League as champions but it has not been an easy relationship between him and Ashley.

In January, Benitez indicated he could well depart this summer after growing frustrated at the club’s failure to deliver the signings he wanted.

He stayed put and delivered promotion, but frustration has mounted once again in recent weeks.

Ashley, Newcastle’s billionaire owner, promised Benitez “every last penny” that the club generated through “promotion, player sales and other means” after a meeting in May.

So far, French defender Florian Lejeune is the only entirely new arrival at the club so far this summer, with Christian Atsu joining the club permanently from Chelsea following a loan spell last season.

Newcastle have had a bid of £12m accepted by Norwich for winger Jacob Murphy but they missed out on Tammy Abraham, Willy Caballero and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

And Benitez, speaking from the club’s week-long training camp in County Kildare in Ireland, expects some significant action from the Newcastle hierarchy soon.

He said: “I think we are very clear where we are. In January we didn’t sign players, but we had £30m ready for the future, so now we are in a situation where we are going slowly.

“But I still have confidence that after my meeting with Mike everything will be fine.

“He said that he would give us every last penny, so hopefully he will do it, and I’m confident that he will do it.”

Asked about the players Newcastle have already missed out on, Benitez added: “We cannot change what happened, so we have to concentrate on what will happen in the future.

“We have the numbers to spend. When we had the meeting they told me the numbers – and now we have to make it happen.

“I still have confidence that he (Ashley) will keep his word. We have the resources to do what we wanted and now we have to do it.

“I asked if I can spend all the money on one player or if I must spend it on many players. Mike said the budget is mine and I can do what I want with the numbers he has given me. It is the same with wages. “

 

We still have time to buy players until the end of next month and I am confident we will.”

Benitez has won the hearts of Newcastle supporters during his time on Tyneside and his calls for action in the transfer market cannot fail to have been noted by Ashley

 

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