At the Rafa Benitez Luton Press Conference, the United boss has admitted that almost a week into the transfer window, he still doesn’t know what money, if any, he has to spend in January.
Even though it was an FA Cup press conference, the manager was always going to be asked about team strengthening for the relegation struggle.
Five days into the transfer window and not even knowing what your budget is…is just unbelievable, unless you factor in Mike Ashley.
Rafa Benitez said before the window opened that he wanted all his signings brought in by ideally 15 January (10 days time!), with 20 January the absolute final deadline to allow him time to work with and integrate them.
Away from transfer talk, Rafa has indicated he may play a stronger team against Luton than most anticipated.
The manager pointing out there is a full week before Newcastle then take on Swansea.
August saw the United boss make 10 changes for the Forest League Cup match, so anybody’s guess what exactly the team will be tomorrow. However, I doubt very much it will include key players such as Jamaal Lascelles.
Rafa Benitez Luton Press Conference:
“I don’t know exactly what our (January transfer) budget is (yet).
“At the moment, we don’t have any movement (in the transfer window), so we are waiting.
“I think we will have a strong team (against Luton).
“We play only one game this week, so we can try to put a team out that, for me, will be enough to win this game.
“We are playing against a good, well organised team with lots of confidence, so we cannot underestimate them.
“We have experience in the cups in England, and every game is difficult. You cannot go into any game with overconfidence.
“We will try to win this game and see if we can progress.
“We approach this year with the same idea – one game at a time.
“We know Luton Town are doing well in the league and will bring a lot of fans.
“We have some meetings talking about VAR (video assistant referee is to be used in this weekend’s FA Cup matches). Sometimes it’s fine, sometimes it is not so clear.
“We will have a strong team (against Luton) and I will try to play a strong team to make sure that we put everything in and try to win.”