Rafa Benitez has stepped up the pressure on Mike Ashley.
The Newcastle boss obviously sick of what has happened with the two previous transfer windows.
Rather than wait until during or after a transfer window, the United manager has made clear when he needs signings to be made by, to give the club a viable chance of staying in the Premier League.
Rafa Benitez says ‘I have confidence that Mike Ashley will deliver what we need to stay in the Premier League before January 20, to be sure that we have time to work with the new players’.
Then he also adds ‘I have the belief and the confidence in Mike Ashley, that by January 15 or 20, we have to be there with everything done’.
The 15th January is in 24 days time and the 20th is in 29 days time, so the clock is most definitely ticking.
Rafa was said to be furious that signings he had lined up for the very start of the summer window were not progressed by the club, failure of Mike Ashley and his minions to do so this time will take us into dangerous waters surely…
The dates of the 15th and 20th of January are not plucked out of the air.
The 15th is two days after the third last Premier League match of January and then the 20th is the day when Newcastle are away at Manchester City, with additionally only the Burnley home game at 7.45pm on 31 January falling inside the transfer window, albeit by hours/minutes.
The reference to January 20 is the most important to my mind, referring no doubt to then leaving time for new signings to be then ready potentially for that Burnley home match.
After that Burnley match, there are only 12 more league matches to play and time is of the essence.
Rafa says ‘Am I confident we can get what we want?’ and then answers his own question…’In some cases yes, in some cases no’.
We are heading for four weeks of very interesting time as a Newcastle fan, let’s hope that finally Mike Ashley sees sense.
Rafa Benitez speaking on Friday, as related by The Mail:
“I have confidence that Mike Ashley will deliver what we need to stay in the Premier League before January 20, to be sure that we have time to work with the new players.
“I don’t know the budget that I have, so we don’t know how much we can spend…
“It will depend on the value of the players, the players who are available or not, and we may have to move players out to bring others in.
“It’s really important to do that.
“We haven’t received any offers for any of our players at this stage but we have to do things as quickly as possible.
“I have the belief and the confidence in Mike Ashley, that by January 15 or 20, we have to be there with everything done.
“Am I confident we can get what we want?
“In some cases yes, in some cases no.”