Rafa Benitez is making some big moves ahead of the January transfer window.
At Newcastle United the biggest challenge isn’t actually identifying and signing the targets, it is first having to deal with all the stupidity and politics that Mike Ashley has infested the club with.
On Friday, Rafa Benitez stated that he needed to have his January signings brought in as early as possible, the United boss saying ideally by 15 January and the very latest the 20 January.
Newcastle play away at Manchester City on 20 January and then have 11 days to prepare for the next Premier League match which is Burnley at home on Wednesday 31 January.
After that Burnley match there are only 13 more league games remaining, explaining why Rafa sees time is of the essence in terms of bedding in new players as quickly as possible.
The Newcastle manager has also revealed that he has spoken to Mike Ashley.
The first direct contact according to the Shields Gazette, that the manager has had with the club’s owner since May.
That was the May conversation that Rafa kept referring back to throughout the summer, saying that Mike Ashley had to keep the ‘promises’ he had made.
Recently Rafa mentioned a number of times that he expects for starters the promised money that wasn’t spent in the summer, to be now made available.
He and Ashley have talked about the January window and ‘how to move forward’.
The big question now is whether Mike Ashley will now belatedly deliver on his ‘promises’ to Rafa Benitez?
The clock is ticking.
Rafa Benitez reveals he has finally spoken to Mike Ashley:
“I am talking with Lee Charnley every day, I was also in contact with Mike Ashley.
“We have phones, it is very easy to do!
“We were talking about January, that was the main thing.
“We have been in contact talking about how to move forward.
“What we have to do what we have to do to improve the team, to be sure we can compete and stay in the Premier League.
“We are progressing and I have confidence we will do well.
“Exactly as I’m expecting? I don’t know…but I have confidence we can do something that will be important for the team.
‘We are where we are.
“We have what we have.
“Hopefully, we will improve and be much better in the second part of the league and compete against teams we can compete against.”