Rafa Benitez talks transfers after meeting Lee Charnley
Rafa Benitez met with Lee Charnley and head of recruitment Steve Nickson during the week.
The United boss looking two months ahead to the January transfer window opening.
Obviously scouting for new players is an ongoing year-long process but that process leads up to the sharp end, the window then opening.
Having been blocked in making any signings last January and limited to an £11.5m net spend in the summer, what are the manager’s expectations this time?
Not surprisingly, Rafa Benitez is giving little away in terms of the actual targets and simply says he has asked Steve Nickson and his staff, to compile a list of ‘good players’.
Only after that does the United boss say it then comes down to considering the actual potential prices.
One extra thing that Rafa was prepared to share, is that a possible takeover of the club is something that is in his thought process.
The Newcastle manager saying he needs the list of targets compiled whoever owns the club come January. However, the clear implication is that Rafa Benitez is dependent on the takeover if he is to be looking at the names that feature high up on any list, with the biggest price tags.
It is a time of uncertainty tinged with hope that at last ambitious new owners may replace Mike Ashley.
Hopefully things will happen sooner rather than later with a takeover and this next transfer window won’t prove a wasted opportunity.
Mike Ashley has indicated that he wants any sale of the club agreed by Christmas but then again, the club’s owner has said many things in the past that are then proved to be false.
Rafa was forced into buying Joselu as he desperately needed a striker but had limited funds to do so. The forward has done ok but clearly isn’t a long-term first eleven player, more a squad back-up.
I can’t see the manager making any similar short-term buys in January to temporarily put a patch on a problem. If a potential takeover is still up in the air, I think far more likely that like the Atsu and Merino deals, Rafa Benitez would maybe look at loan deals with a view to making them permanent, as even if there isn’t an injection of new funds from a new owner, the cash would/should be there regardless next summer to complete any buys.
It is claimed that on Rafa’s wish list is a striker, left-back, and a number 10, that would do for starters!
“The first thing you are looking for is good players.
“You put a list (together) of good players and after that you put the prices.
“So we are looking for good players and then if we cannot come here (for this player), we will come here.
“I have told the scouts to just go and look for good players and after that, we will decide where we are.
“It is early but we have to have the names.
“One side or on the other side (of Mike Ashley selling) we have to have the names.
“There are players that you cannot sign even if you have money, you cannot sign these players because they play Champions League, Europa League or whatever with a top side.
“So you cannot waste time with these players but the others you have to know all of them and to be ready.”
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