Rafa Benitez wanted at least five new players to be brought in by Monday.

The United boss expected to add at least the five, on top of Christian Atsu’s loan conversion into permanent deal, in time for pre-season training which starts in four days time (Monday 3 July).

That is the claim from the Chronicle in a report today.

They claim that their information is that Benitez had set this target of transfer activity, at a point which comes over eight weeks after the Championship season ended and less than six weeks before the Premier League season kicks off.

However, with the way things stand, the report concludes that supporters will be ‘happy’ now just to have the seemingly never ending Florian Lejeune deal concluded.

When pre-season training started a year ago, Rafa Benitez had made three first team signings and spent just under Β£30m, with Dwight Gayle, Matz Sels and Matt Ritchie all in from the start.

Within a week of pre-season beginning, both Jesus Gamez and Isaac Hayden had already been added.

The first friendly last summer was against Bohemians and all five new signings played in that game.

Looking at this summer’s schedule, Newcastle first play Hearts in 15 days time and that must surely be the target now for Rafa Benitez, to have signings in place who can take part in that match and the other five scheduled friendlies that follow.

These are the dates when the 12 signings arrived in summer 2016:

29 June – Matz Sels

1 July – Dwight Gayle

1 July – Matt Ritchie

8 July – Jesus Gamez

11 July – Isaac Hayden

21 July – Grant Hanley

2 August – Ciaran Clark

2 August – Mohamed Diame

23 August – DeAndre Yedlin

27 August – Achraf Lazaar

27 August – Daryl Murphy

30 August – Christian Atsu

The Chronicle – 29 June 2017:

‘Rafa Benitez actually wanted to sign at least five new players before the first day of pre-season training, but the market has been excruciatingly difficult so far.

As it stands Newcastle fans will be happy if Florian Lejeune is through the door on Monday after a snail-paced deal with Eibar edges to completion.’

Whether the Chronicle’s information is correct or not, Rafa will surely have expected to have at least some new signings in place by now.

Sadly, you can’t see the transfer market getting any less ‘excruciatingly difficult’, so it looks as though it is likely down to NUFC to change their approach and be more flexible in terms of what they can do to land new signings.



  • Jezza

    It’s not the transfer market that is “excruciatingly difficult” it’s the club’s owner.

  • Phil K

    Eibar have been an utter disgrace – for once we can’t blame the Newcastle side
    THEY or the top man have been the cause of a ridiculous delay. His 15 minutes of fame.
    Benfica’s ridiculous overpricing of a player they WANT to sell
    We can blame Newcastle for all the others though

    • Jimblag23

      What now?

    • Jezza

      My understanding is that Lejeune has a release clause and NUFC want to meet that release fee in the form of instalments over a period of time. If that’s true then it’s not Eibar who are an utter disgrace in this instance.

      • Phil K

        How many clubs pay everything up front all at once ? Very few – IF ANY.
        Even Man U Arsenal etc pay over instalments.
        The reason for the delay is Eibar delaying and delaying hoping someone else comes in and start a bidding war. They even said so early on about other clubs being interested – Arsenal being one. It never materialized.
        Ditto with Benfica and their laughably overpriced Greek

        • Jezza

          You’ve got it all wrong. There isn’t ever going to be a bidding war for Lejeune. He can go for 10 million Euros. It’s in his contract. I know that not all fees are paid in full up front but offering to meet a player’s release clause in the form of instalments over a period of time is taking the mick.

  • Shipcote Willy

    The market is difficult because Ashley cant come to terms with the fact he will have to pay over the odds to keep his team in the league. Forget about blaming Charnley, Ashley controls everything at the club.The real question is what is the tipping point for Rafa.

    • Kneebotherm8

      The tipping point will be if he has another blank transfer window like he had last Xmas.

      • Phil K

        That will be the last straw.
        Rumours he brought someone in to deal with money situation and transfers was suspicious, not reassuring knowing what he’s like

  • Peaco

    I guess for summer transfer window read excuse for winter window I.e doesn’t offer value

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    the transfer market is quite easy actually, it`s the Fat Lad that`s the problem he`s a glorified barrow boy & he can`t grasp the fact that the fees have gone Nuclear

    • Clarko

      Do you not get bored of criticising Ashley in every single comment you make on every single article that is posted?

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Oh he has a good side to him then, please enlighten me then
        you F@@king Moron

        • Clarko

          This is about you, all you do, in every comment, on every article, is criticise Ashley. Why do you feel the need to do that? You are obsessed with Mike Ashley.

          • Wor Lass

            There`s only Mr Fleckman who ever has anything good to say about the fat bar steward on here or the Chronic – haven`t you noticed or have you been too busy trying to find out if Simon Grayson`s knocked you lot back yet?

          • Clarko

            Again, this isn’t about whether Ashley is good or bad for the club, whether I or you like or dislike him, this is about the original poster’s and your obsession with Mike Ashley.

          • Wor Lass

            I make plenty of comments that aren`t about Ashley but when he crops up it`s definitely going to be negative. I don`t think I – or anyone else – needs to feel bad about that.

          • Clarko

            In fairness, you do make comments that do not relate to Mike Ashley. However you do make a significant amount of comments about Ashley on articles unrelated to Ashley, and they are always negative.

            The original poster’s comments revolve around Ashley, hence my original comment.

          • Wor Lass

            Why is an article that concentrates on the lack of meaningful transfer activity have nothing to do with Ashley? Everything about this club, what it does and what it spectacularly doesn`t do is about Ashley – he`s the organ grinder!

          • Clarko

            If you think that then you’re uninformed. Lee Charnley runs the club on a day to day basis, that includes transfer negotiations, this has been the case for a significant amount of time.

            The only actual involvement Mike Ashley has with Newcastle is picking the board and supplying the transfer budget. And because Newcastle are run self sufficiently (in theory) the club produces its own budget. Below is a quote from Ashley in March 2016:

            “All I can say is; there is a bank account. When you have emptied it, it’s empty. Don’t come crying to me for more money.

            “[There is] virtually nothing left now. They have emptied it. I have virtually nil affect on Newcastle in reality because I only pick the board.”

          • Wor Lass

            You can tell he`s lying when his lips move.

          • Clarko

            And there it is, your obsessive hatred for Ashley has blinded you of the actual facts.

          • Wor Lass

            Am I bovvered?

          • Phil K

            And heres me thinking he hasn’t got to keep YOUR face straight about what he posts…..

          • Kneebotherm8

            In defence of Ashley,I think it’s a toss up between him and Elliott whatsisname down the road. In fact they’re a pair of t*ssers in my opinion.

          • Geordiegiants

            Ellis Short is a great owner I think.
            Jabba is a parasitic cancer!

          • Kneebotherm8

            Aye he’s done a great job doon the road,the mackems will agree with you on that I’m sureπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

          • Viru leckworth

            When will you learn that people don’t become billionaires by being generous. Ashley won’t want to risk another dip into the second tier though.

          • Kneebotherm8

            When will you learn that there’s any amount of generous billionaires out there,Roman Abramovich being one that springs to mind( and there are many many more). The difference between Abramovich and Ashley is that one’s actually got an interest in football while the other is only interested in making more and more money. So don’t defend Ashley on the premise that he’s a tight [email protected] like every other billionaire out there.

          • Viru leckworth

            There are many are there? You mention one. I stand by my statement. And don’t take my point to mean that I support the man, but I wish people would stop beating on about something we can do nothing about. It’s a blog about football.

          • Kneebotherm8

            There are as many generous billionaires as not so generous ones,and you mention only one also, so what’s your point?

      • Phil K

        Tell me how he hasn’t deserved most of it then.

        • Clarko

          The only actual involvement Mike Ashley has with Newcastle is picking the board and supplying the transfer budget. And because Newcastle are run self sufficiently (in theory) the club produces its own budget. Below is a quote from Ashley in March 2016:

          “All I can say is; there is a bank account. When you have emptied it, it’s empty. Don’t come crying to me for more money.

          “[There is] virtually nothing left now. They have emptied it. I have virtually nil affect on Newcastle in reality because I only pick the board.”

          The criticism is unjust.

  • Jimblag23

    Ashley’s response to Rafas request…”tough sh!t”

    • Jezza

      Or “you’ve got to sell before you buy and if you don’t like it, I’ve got somebody waiting in the wings who will be perfectly do the job on those terms again”.

      • Kneebotherm8

        Not Pardew surely?…. or Carver?

        • Jezza

          Well I have been living in fear for months now that if Rafa goes, Ashley will have no hesitation in re-installing his old mate Pardew.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Worryingly,he is available. It’s a pity the mackems haven’t taken him on(yet). We live in hope.

  • Kneebotherm8

    According to these stats,we’re in exactly the same position today( 29th June) as we were last year on the 29th June with one player signed(Atsu this year,Sels last year). I’m hopeful we’ll get the new signings,we require,starting next week as we did last year.
    Note: hopeful not confident

  • hetonmag

    Good grief it’s turned into hysteria on these pages now get a grip lads do you really believe anything the Chron says because I certainly don’t.

  • GToon

    I don’t really care what the papers say but I can imagine somebody rubbing his hands together and being excited about developing the squad and really moving forward and I can imagine somebody else rubbing his hands together and counting cash and not being at all interested in developing the squad, the same idiot who thought simply adding Vernon Anita would help us improve on finishing fifth a few years ago. The fact other clubs are prepared to risk not being balance sheet champions by doing their transfer business early emphasizes the problems facing the club while fatty is in charge.

  • Wor Lass

    I stand by what I`ve been saying all week – Saturday marks the start of a new FFP year and it`s from there that our business will be done. I reckon that if nothing positive was going on in the background then Rafa would already have walked. He made it plain in January that he wasn`t happy and that`s been followed up with Carr`s departure so surely Penfold`s got to deliver next week.

    • Geordiegiants

      I agree, at the very least he would be using the media to shout his mouth off if he was getting p’ssed around by the parasitic cancer.

  • Alreet

    This weekend will be busy for the cheque book.

    • Jezza

      I just can’t see it to be truthful. If reports are to be believed we are already reduced to trying to negotiate paying an Β£8 million transfer fee in instalments over a period of time and looking to loan deals for other club’s young reserve players. Nothing ever changes with that fat bar steward in charge of this club.

      • Phil K

        Do you SERIOUSLY think teams pay it all up front ? SERIOUSLY ? You’re labouring under a misapprehension about financial workings of clubs

    • Viru leckworth

      Am I looking forward to the start of the season? Close to.

  • Desree

    We have all been here before. If business is done it gets done early. I ecpect a Ravolt not a Raffalution. The scorpion and the Frog