With four days to go until Newcastle start their Premier League season, Rafa Benitez has made clear where he sees this transfer window to have not lived up to expectations so far.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Rafa says ‘We missed our targets at the beginning and I think we are paying for that’.
The United boss doesn’t name and shame but it has been widely reported that Rafa Benitez had a number of players lined up to sign he believed at the start of the season, only for those players not to be got ‘over the line’.
It being a similar case in January when the United boss expected signings to be made, only for not one to arrive, with Rafa going public on his anger and frustrations.
A number of journalists have claimed in recent days that Benitez is far from happy with what has gone on and yesterday, Martin Hardy of the Sunday Times said Rafa had two signings lined up in January and then four for this current one, only for none of those signings to be made.
Rafa has made clear in a number of other interviews that he desperately wants to bring both a striker and a goalkeeper in, so hard not to look back at the much publicised non-arrivals of both Willy Caballero (or Pepe Reina) and Tammy Abraham, who it looked pretty clear Rafa wanted.
At this moment in time, Rafa Benitez describes his mood as being ‘I am not happy…but at the same time it’s a challenge’.
The manager reiterates that it is a difficult market and Newcastle cannot ‘sign a £25m striker’ but there are certainly players out there who would improve the team/squad and whilst not being cheap, should surely still be within Newcastle’s reach – if willing to pay the transfer fee and wages.
With concerns over Dwight Gayle’s availability in particular, not to bring in another striker would be a massive gamble for everybody connected with Newcastle United.
Rafa Benitez talking to Sky Sports:
“The story is, as I said before, we missed our targets.
“I can read our fans saying ‘We will sign a £25m striker’.
“Listen, we cannot.
“Sometimes they are unavailable and if they are available, sometimes the wages are not the same, the commission is not the same and the wages are huge.
“I think we will try to do our best in our the market.
“I am not happy…but at the same time it’s a challenge.
“It is very hard – the prices are crazy.
“We missed some targets at the beginning and I think we are paying for that.
“The Championship – the team, the fans, the city were together and that was crucial for us.
“We had good players and we had fifty two thousand fans every game at home and especially the fans away…everyone was trying to achieve what we wanted to achieve.
“Only 33% of teams go back up first season and if you don’t go up, it’s even more difficult because there is more pressure.”