Sky Sports say that their sources have told them that Rafa Benitez wants to bring in four new players in January.
The broadcaster though says that Andy Carroll will definitely not be among them.
They say that talks had taken place within Newcastle United but Rafa Benitez has decided Carroll is not a player he wants to add in January.
The transfer window updates have been less than positive in the local media, with claims that the Newcastle Manager still doesn’t know what cash, if any, he has to spend, and that any new signings will have to be loan deals – unless he manages to sell players to raise the necessary cash.
A pretty dismal picture for a club that bought nobody last January and who had a net spend of just over a quarter of that which other promoted sides, Brighton and Huddersfield, had in the summer.
Hopefully the Sky Sports claim of four new signings for Rafa Benitez is realistic, as certainly the squad is desperately in need of extra quality all around the pitch.
Talk of it being only loan signings isn’t necessarily a disaster, just so long as they are the right players.
With Newcastle threatened by relegation, just like prospective new owners, prospective new signings would surely have doubts about signing permanently for a club that could be in the Championship next season.
So purely loan deals, or loans with a view to a permanent deal are fine by me.
Though just because they are loan deals they may not come cheap.
To get the better quality players short-term on loan, Mike Ashley has to be prepared to agree to high wages and loan fees which will never be recouped. Something Ashley wasn’t prepared to do with Tammy Abraham and others in the summer.
The loan arrangement for Mikel Merino was a bit different, the midfielder having a trigger clause of very few matches (rumoured in Germany to have been as few as two) before he was guaranteed to become a permanent signing. That confirmed earlier this season with the transfer fee set to be paid at a later date.
The loan fee for Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches was reported to have cost Swansea over £7m plus wages for this season, so any hopes of getting players of the quality of Chelsea’s Batshuayi or similar, would need Mike Ashley’s approval to spend more than he no doubt wants to.
With seemingly no significant progress on a takeover as relegation fears also inhibit that possibility of agreement on the value of NUFC, once again we are left looking to Rafa Benitez for positivity.
He delivered seven points from the three relegation clashes over the festive period and whilst my heart says he will manage to bring in the four or so players that he wants, my head tells me to be prepared to accept that he could well need to simply continue performing minor miracles with the players he has already got.