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Rafa Benitez appears to admit defeat on signing number nine

5 years ago

A busy Wednesday saw Rafa Benitez unveil Ciaran Clark and Mohamed Diame and signings number seven and eight.

The pair following Matz Sels, Jesus Gamez, Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Grant Hanley and Isaac Hayden through the St James Park entrance.

However, later yesterday, Rafa appears to have admitted defeat on a player that he clearly wants.

Asked about the club’s pursuit and offer for Anthony Knockaert, the Newcastle boss said that he knows that it won’t be easy to land the winger, especially with Brighton expected to be one of the other challengers for promotion.

Acknowledging there had been an offer made for the player (press reports put that figure anywhere betwee £6m and £10m), Benitez says that you ‘normally try’ to convince a club to sell but then have to sometimes accept they won’t do a deal and then ‘move on and start thinking about other targets’.

Quite clearly, neither versatile defender Ciaran Clark or powerful central midfielder Mohamed Diame are an alternative to Anthony Knockaert, so in these remaining four weeks we wait to see if Rafa will push further on the Brighton winger or go elsewhere, or accept there isn’t the right player/deal out there at the moment.

Rafa Benitez speaking to BBC Radio Newcastle:

“We know that won’t be easy.

“We’re rivals and I think it will be tough to convince them.

“Normally you try and…if you can’t, you have to move on and start thinking about other targets.

“We will see but I think it will be difficult.”


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