Rafa Benitez has expressed surprise at a story put out about Aleksandar Mitrovic by the club’s media partner.
Last weekend The Mirror claimed that they had inside information that the Newcastle Manager had lost all patience with Mitrovic and was desperate to get him out of the club.
The report said that Rafa Benitez felt he couldn’t ‘trust’ the Serbian international – especially in terms of discipline.
The claims were met with scepticism by many Newcastle fans, as surely if the United boss didn’t have Mitrovic in his plans, he would have acted before now to sell him – especially when he was suspended for the first four matches of the season anyway.
The Mirror’s claims were repeated elsewhere and when asked about the future of the former Anderlecht striker ahead of the Huddersfield game, Rafa says that he is surprised by the club media partner’s story which he says simply isn’t true.
The United boss says that rather than sell one of his main strikers, he has indicated that he wants to bring in another, as well as keeping Mitrovic – to give Newcastle more goal ‘power’.
On the subject of strikers, the Manager says that Adam Armstrong will be staying at Newcastle at least until that other new forward is signed – little surprise considering the young Geordie was the only forward cover on the bench at Craven Cottage.
Benitez admits Adam Armstrong needs regular football and he has indicated that a loan will happen once a new forward signing is made.
Mitrovic comes out of suspension after the Bristol City away match on Saturday 20 August so plenty of time for Armstrong to be sorted with a loan deal in the remaining days of the transfer window – with undoubtedly no shortage of clubs wanting to sign him up
“I have seen two or three stories this week which have really surprised me. It (selling Mitrovic) is not something that’s true.
“I was surprised with this story about Mitrovic. Mitrovic is a good striker and he is our target man at the moment.
“We need more power in attack, so can we sell one striker if we need more power?
“No, we maybe need to bring in another one – but some of the names in the press…the transfer window is always difficult.”
Rafa on Adam Armstrong:
“I said to him (Adam Armstrong) that he will continue here and we will make a decision, we have to consider each individual and think about our young players.
“We have signed an extension for Rolando Aarons and we need to think about the future, not just we are doing something now but also that the future of the club is protected.
“Adam Armstrong is someone who will need to play and he will need to learn from experienced players and sometimes it is sensible to loan him but we’ll see – at the moment it is to see whether we will bring someone else in, then we will see.”