January is now in its tenth day and Rafa Benitez has still not managed to get any of his transfer targets into St James Park.

The United boss admitted at the end of last week that players had been approached but for various reasons they had not become Newcastle players.

As always a lot of players are being linked with United but two can now be seemingly ruled out.

Loans are potentially/probably being the most likely route to add real quality for at least the rest of this season and one Premier League player can now be crossed off the list.

Newcastle and a number of other clubs have been linked with taking the exciting Ruben Loftus-Cheek for the rest of the season but Antonio Conte has said the player will be staying at Stamford Bridge this season.

Explaining his decision, Antonio Conte:

“Ruben is an important player for Chelsea and he must know this, we trust a lot in him.

“For this reason it’s important to work a lot (with the player) and to take satisfaction with our team.

“No, No. Absolutely (Ruben Loftus-Cheek is not leaving). I don’t want this. For Ruben I don’t want this.

“He knows this and the club knows this. I want him to stay because he’s ready to play for the first team. If he shows me he wants to play, he knows that he plays.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle were linked with Fulham’s star player, attacking midfielder Tom Cairney.

However, George Caulkin at The Times says that his information is that Newcastle did approach Fulham for the player ahead of the transfer window – but that when told £20m was the asking price, they instantly binned this option.

With Brentford having turned down three bids for star striker Scott Hogan and holding out for at least £15m, anybody who thinks Championship clubs are going to let their best players go on the cheap is very much mistaken.

The smart money must be on loan deals from Premier League clubs for Rafa Benitez but this is proving no easy task either.

With Newcastle’s most pressing need to add more goal threat and creativity, that makes the task even more difficult, as these are the players every team is looking for.