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Rafa Benitez confirms at press conference he gave Mike Ashley list of January transfer targets and still waiting

4 years ago

Rafa Benitez kept his cool when questioned  about (lack of) transfers on Friday afternoon but was clearly far from happy.

The United boss says that he personally doesn’t get involved in the transfers, but stated that he gave Mike Ashley his list of transfer targets ‘A, B and C options…’ and is still waiting to see if they end up being signed.

Last January, Newcastle played QPR just as the transfer window closed and after only drawing at home, Rafa Benitez used that opportunity to make clear how unhappy he was that Mike Ashley had failed to back him with a single signing.

This season, Newcastle play Burnley on Wednesday and the transfer window closes around an hour after the final whistle.

All fans will be desperately hoping that Ashley doesn’t restrict his manager to only a short-term loan deal for Kenedy. Especially with the stakes so high and other relegation teams spending heavily to try and avoid the drop.

Rafa has made clear he won’t be selling any of his players to relegation rivals unless they make a stupid offer, for example Brighton upping their Mitrovic offer to £50m.

Rafa Benitez pre-Chelsea press conference:

Asked about signing Nicolai Jorgensen:

“I don’t do the (transfer) business.

“I do football issues.

“We gave a list (of transfer targets) on January 1 (to Mike Ashley).

“We have given a list with A, B and C options…we have to wait until 31st January, then we will see.”

Mitrovic away?:

I have been clear with Mitrovic and his agent.

“He will only leave if we sign players and it won’t (be) to a Premier League rival.

“I see Brighton are interested but we’re not selling any player to any other Premier League club…unless they want to come with £50m!”

The FA Cup:

“It is an amazing competition but you have to be realistic. The top six are still there.”


“Florian Lejeune has been running. The only player to miss out is Jesus Gamez. The rest are ok and some have little issues.”

Facing Chelsea:

“If we have a squad strong enough to compete, we will see. I will use the squad, for sure. We have to do everything right and they have to make mistakes.

“I am just focused on my team, my players, and that’s it. Before the last game, I said I have good memories (of Chelsea) and I have good friends there.”


“We are talking. We have the green light to go forward and we are waiting on news. The main thing is you have to be positive.”


“He is a player we were monitoring. He is a young player but he knows the Premier League.

“A lot of positives – he has quality, he has energy. He is a good addition for us.

“He can play as a wing-back, a left-back, a winger, on the left or right.

“He is fine and it’s just a question of match fitness (for next week v Burnley).”


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