Rafa Benitez has spoken for the first time since the transfer window opened.

The United boss admitting that the situation is ‘not ideal’, as ‘everybody (including him!) wants to see a lot of players signed already’.

By this stage last season, Newcastle had signed five new players, including three new front six players in Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie, all who would prove key to promotion and eventually the title.

Squad player Jesus Gamez had also signed on by that point, along with a new first choice keeper in Matz Sels, though that one wouldn’t prove quite as successful.

Squad player (started 15 Championship games last season) Christian Atsu became a permanent signing in May after a year on loan, with the only other signing so far being Florian Lejeune, the 26 year old only having one season so far in top flight football. Before playing last season for Spanish minnows SD Eibar in La Liga, Lejeune had played only a handful of matches outside the French and Spanish second tiers, meaning it may take him time to adjust to the Premier League.

Rafa’s message is that he and others simply ‘have to keep working’ to try and find signings this summer, the manager adding ‘we can do nothing else’.

At no stage in his 16 months at St James Park has Rafa Benitez gone over the top, in terms of his reaction to anything positive or negative, so no surprise that his public message is to stay calm and say he will keep looking for the right players.

The Newcastle manager made clear he wasn’t happy when the club refused to back him with the signings, even loan ones, he wanted in January, but then said the only thing to do was carry on with what he had and make sure they got the job of promotion completed.

Clearly the club are well behind in the recruitment the Spaniard would have hoped/expected to have seen by now, but it is inconceivable that Mike Ashley won’t shift his position this time on transfers, if Newcastle continue to be priced out of deals due to a rigid idea of what can be paid in transfer fees and wages.

A year ago Rafa Benitez made clear that he was building a team that was specifically structured to get the club out of the Championship at the first attempt, with then further major work being needed to be done if they were then indeed promoted.

Even though he made the club a £40m profit in the transfer market last summer, nobody can really complain that Rafa wasn’t supported when it came to transfers back then, with some £50m spent.

However, with fees like £10m (Gayle) and £12m (Ritchie) spent in summer 2016 to ensure promotion, you would think that the reality must be that the manager will be backed to bring in some players with transfer fees far in excess of those, if he believes they are the right moves to make.

Yes the transfer market is ‘crazy’ but so is the income you get from simply staying in the Premier League.

Rafa Benitez:

“We know where we are…it’s not ideal because everybody wants to see a lot of players signed already.

“But we have to keep working and trying to find the players we want.

“We can do nothing else.

“We have to find the players we want and hopefully we can do it.

 “It’s not easy for a lot of teams because the market is a bit crazy, we have to try to do our best.

“Obviously, the top sides have a lot of money.

“The other teams are spending some money but we will see if we can do our job.”

  • Leazes Ender

    Rafa yesterday……“One of the children, before the pictures, he was asking me: ‘Which player will you sign in the future?’

    “I couldn’t answer the question, so I told him just to concentrate on his football.”

    Viva la Rafalution

    • Mark Potter

      Oh, were you that child? Did you really expect him to reveal his transfer targets to you? Sorry, little boy. It doesn’t work like that in the big world.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        there isn`t any transfer plans or hadn`t you noticed

        • Jezza

          Oh there’s a plan alright and that plan is to spend as little money as possible and hopefully come out of the transfer window with another profit.

      • Leazes Ender

        He added: “We know where we are.

        “Everybody wants to see a lot of players signed up already but we have to keep working.

        “We can do nothing else.

        “We have to find the players we want and hopefully we can do it.”

        … Rafa has never worked with Charnley before. but we know what he’s capable of.

        • Mark Potter

          Rafa has worked with Charnley for over a year, and this is the third transfer window.

      • Lhc

        Jesus he was a child, mr serious over there!

    • Franzcarrsuperstar

      The kid was talking about which player in the foundation tournament will you sign in the future, not about current transfer targets. Rafa’s response was to that question. I think one of today’s press articles has tried to paint it out of context, which is sneaky.

  • Steve Pearce

    Rafa is not alone with this concern. Conte is threatening to quit Chelsea over this issue and Morino is also upset. That’s the state of the transfer market these days with players and their agents out for the most money they can get which scuppers everybody’s plans. What ever happened to “Playing for the love of the game”? – now its money first and then the days of training and 90 minutes on the pitch that get in the way of spending all that loot. Thank you Rupert Murdoch and Sky for creating this shameful situation.

    • Wor Lass

      How selfish of those players, trying to get the best possible deal! What are they thinking of?

      • Simon Rhodes

        Even if the took a bad deal they would still be better off than 99% of the population

        • Wor Lass

          That`s true, of course, but would you or I do any different if we had the chance? I know what my answer would be!

          • Jezza

            The difference is that you or me would be opting for about £200 a week instead of £150 a week as that would help us to keep a roof over our heads and put food on the table. You’ve got to multiply those figures by a thousand to equate it to today’s top players and these are young men who are already multi millionaires by their early 20’s.

          • Wor Lass

            I completely agree with the principle, Jezza, but what I`m saying is that it`s human nature. “He`s got that so I want it.” The only way to stop it would be if all clubs agreed certain limits but that`s as likely to happen as a night out with Ashley with no chundering!

          • Jezza

            I think we’re all going to be chundering by the end of this transfer window.

  • Desree

    And Mourinho has just signed Lukaku. Conte must be upset about loding Atsu

    • Leazes Ender

      We have the fifteenth most valuable squad in this league at the moment, that is a problem that Manure and Chelsea don’t have….. the seeds of a relegation scrap.

      • Wor Lass

        That`s true, Leazes, but we`ve already got a better squad than the one that narrowly went down and we`ve got a top manager from the start of the season …. er … if he stays, that is …. doh!

        • Leazes Ender

          Rafa isn’t known for exciting football is he, now if you couple that premise with the hammerings that this squad is going to get I don’t think the Rafalution will have the legs or impetus to progress.

        • magpiefifer

          Agreed that the squad is stronger than 2 seasons ago – but so are the other Premier club squads!!

  • Wor Lass

    Whilst we`ve always got to be wary of Cashley and his penny-pinching ways (unless he`s in the Dog and Duck, of course), there`s more to our lack of progress than that. Abraham decided to go where he knew the coach well and was promised game time, Caballero has gone to the champions and other players have simply opted for clubs they know. Yes, money talks but we don`t have as much of it this season as we need in this market. More players will come but not necessarily at the level we all wanted, sadly.

    • Leazes Ender

      Do you think that Rafa has the pulling power in view of the snubs received so far? I think a lot of people myself included, were expecting something more than this, I didn’t think it would live up to the hype of a Rafalution, but this is really poor.

      The Chronicle are driving on auto ‘excuse mode’ now just as they did with Pardew, its fifteen months since the front page proclaimed in banner headlines…..


      They knew it then and they know it now.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Can`t get them out, can`t get them in. thats the legacy of the Toxic Twins Penfold & Carr
    we have a Fatberg of players that are sapping the funds & they are virtually impossible to move on.
    bring in 5 premiership standard players now & it`s financial suicide.
    until the dross is gone the club is in stasis

  • Shipcote Willy

    Their is no such thing as an ideal market. Inflated transfer market? Just as well we have inflated TV money then. No market is ideal, especially if there is more than one team in for the player because we won’t compete. It’s a sellers market and you either accept that or scrabble around at the end of the window hoping for a cheaper deal. Rafa seems to have a lot of faith in Penfold and might find out the hard way that he is not the one making the decisions. It’s Ashley or one of his banker mates in the pub. I don’t know what Ashley promised Rafa but whatever it was it’s odds on he will renege on it.