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.

  • Clarko

    Shame about Carroll, top player.

    • Michael Smith

      couldn`t afford him

      • Clarko

        If the reports are to be believed Benitez doesn’t know his budget yet, so unless you have something that you’d like to share?

        • Michael Smith

          Dream on if you think Ashley would sanction £90,000 a week salary plus a loan fee

          • Clarko

            Ashley “sanctions” an average weekly wage of £1.70m at Newcastle currently.

            Ashley “sanctioned” the loan the €3.00m loan fee for Merino earlier in the season.

            Ashley has “sanctioned” Benitez to do what he wants with the budget provided.

          • Phil

            You would think Ashley would of let rafa know his budget by now,

            Although saying that, what Ashley says and does are 2 different things. So doesnt really matter anyway!

          • Kneebotherm8

            £1.7 million average?…..sounds good but where does that rank alongside the rest of the premier league?………….towards the bottom probably.

          • Clarko

            Well yes, why wouldn’t it be towards the bottom? We’re a newly promoted team, we should be third bottom, we’re not.

          • mentalman

            he sanctioned 50k per week for Hoss

        • cmrowley

          He could be referring to the historical evidence of the past 10 years? Not necessarily written in stone that it would be the same but it’s a good bet.

          • Clarko

            You mean like the 14/15 season where Newcastle spent €45.02m? Or in the 15/16 season where Newcastle spent €108.26m? Or last year in the Championship where Newcastle spent €63.75m? Or this season where Newcastle have spent €49.30m so far? With a €117.84m net spend in that time period, a period in which we were relegated.

            The historical evidence suggests that Newcastle spend money.

          • cmrowley

            No, not like that, in order to achieve those types of spends again we’d be selling a fair number of the current squad to finance it wouldn’t we (using history as a guide). That wouldn’t help our current situation as selling the better players would weaken the team would you agree?

            I mean more along the lines of not signing players that command a high loan fee, or transfer fee, or high wages, or over a certain age. Or a combination of those factors, as has been indicated by the transfer dealings over the past 9 years or so.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            We have to move players on who are on high wages, FFP means we’re a bit stuck

          • Clarko

            I just did use history as a guide and you’re wrong, Newcastle have spent €266.33m since the 14/15 season with a €117.48m net spend (with a relegation).

            Newcastle bought Wijnaldum for €20.00m, Mitrovic for €18.50m, Thauvin for €18.35m, Shelvey for €16.00m and so on.

            Newcastle paid a €3.00m loan for Merino earlier this season.

            The average Newcastle player takes home £1.71m per season, higher than AFC Bournemouth (£1.58m), Watford (£1.46m), Burnley (£1.38m), Brighton and Hove Albion, (£1.35m), and Huddersfield Town (£1.02m).

            Newcastle have recently signed players such as Gamez aged 32, Diame aged 30, Joselu aged 27, Clark aged 28, Murphy aged 33.

            You’re just wrong.

          • Super D

            Wasn’t Mitro nearer £13million and Thauvin £15million?

          • cmrowley

            He’s using the Euro figures to make it look like a much larger spend than reality. they were bought when the Euro exchange rate was different to now. Still the same GBP value but looks more impressive if shown in Euro.

          • Clarko


            The € is used as the £ value from the transfermarkt database is not accurate as the database converts €, the currency at which the database uses, to £ using the current exchange rate meaning transfer fees (when viewed in £s) from previous windows are incorrect.

          • Clarko


          • cmrowley

            OK. You reckon Ashley has invested heavily in the team over the years good luck to you.

            It’s demonstrable that over his time with NUFC there is little or no net investment.

            No one would argue with the fact that NUFC has spent X or Y on particular players OR that player X or Y happens to be over a certain age (I like how you use their current ages and not when we signed them and the Euro value as opposed to the pound value). You present your isolated instances while the rest of us assess the trend, the pattern and the reality of the situation.

          • Super D

            Fair do’s overlooked the euro sign, either way not too sure on some of those figures.

          • Clarko

            They are accurate.

          • Kneebotherm8

            He’s only mentioning purchases,when sales are mentioned the figures for Mike don’t look so impressive.

          • Clarko

            No I don’t “reckon”, I have provided proof, evidence, something that you have provided absolutley nothing of, you stating that “over his time with NUFC there is little or no net investment” doesn’t make it true.

            “I like how you use their current ages and not when we signed them and the Euro value as opposed to the pound value”. I like how you have provided no values, not one. Firstly, the € is used as that is currency that is saved in the transfermarkt database, the £ value is not accurate due to the fluctuating exchange rates. Secondly what difference does it make?

            All players listed were over the age of 26 when they were signed.

            “You present your isolated instances”. No I presented evidence that stretched back to 2014. Again, you have provided nothing.

            Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

          • Richard Ede

            But what you didn’t provided is how much Newcastle made on players going out during those seasons, and you’ll find we made more money than we spent which says for the last 10 years we have to sell before we buy!

          • Clarko

            No, I did, you just ignored it.

          • Kneebotherm8

            He’s spent about 30 million quid NETT in the 10 years he’s been at the club so don’t try to blind every one with your bllsht hand picked buying data and statistics,he sold players in those periods as well.
            Its nett spend that counts not purchases only.

          • Clarko

            Give me a breakdown of net spend season by season.

          • Clarko

            Net spend during the Ashley era is €74.88m via transfermarkt.

          • cmrowley

            You can’t cherry pick dates if you are arguing that historically Ashley invests heavily.

            Net spend since 2008 is in the region of 16 million, pretty much all of this is from 2016 to now.

            Some facts about the Ashley reign..

            The wage bill when he took over was 74.6 million (turnover 100.8)
            The wage bill in 15-16 was 74.7 million (turnover 125.8)

            So, in an era of meteoric income rises for PL football clubs 2008 – 1.78 billion to 2017 5.14 billion – approx 200% increase – NUFC turnover has increased by 25% and wages have increased by 0%.

            Put that together with a net spend of 16 million. Over 10 years. Amazing.

            I’m stunned we have suffered two (and flirted so often with) relegation.

          • Clarko

            “You can’t cherry pick dates if you are arguing that historically Ashley invests heavily.”

            I didn’t “cherry pick dates”, I used all the data from 2014. You are the one who has cherry picked dates, you have selectively picked a wage bill from when Mike Ashley “took over” and another wage bill from 15/16 and compared them?

            On top of that I don’t know where you are getting your numbers from as you are not citing your sources, the wage bill in 06/07, before Ashley took over, was £59.8m, after his first year 07/08 it rose to £70.0m, 08/09 it rose to £71.1m and so on up until 15/16 where it is £74.7m (as you state). Meaning since his arrival, wages have increased by 25%.

            The turnover before his takeover in 06/07 was £87.1m, the turnover in 15/16 was £125.8m. Meaning the turnover has increased by 44%.

            The net spend since 07/08 season up until now is €74.88m, not “in the region of 16 million”.

            Your numbers are way, way off.

            Sources(wages and turnover from NUFC Official website and Swiss Ramble, net spend from transfermarkt)

          • cmrowley

            To address your point about providing proof and evidence, just to keep you honest, you have not provided Nothing. You have asserted lots of things but you have not provided anything.

          • Clarko

            I have provided transfer fees, loan fees, total spends, net spends, player salary and player age. All evidence. Again ignorant.

          • cmrowley

            You’re fun.

            You have asserted things, evidence is a little more than writing it down on comment section.

          • Phil

            I bet he’s about as much fun as a kick in the nuts!

            Reading through all of his ‘evidence’ it suggests he is barely sane. Never mind being fun!!

          • Clarko

            I don’t even know what that means. See my other reply.

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            you have provided a bunch of number salad totally out of context. Well done as always.

          • Clarko

            Nope, you’re just ignorant.

          • GToon

            You are wasting your time mate. He would probably consider Ashley’s ten years in charge to be a “success” no doubt, with managers backed every transfer window despite players being sold and not replaced, relegations and the actual managers in charge publicly stating that they wanted players they didn’t get and that they didn’t get backed. No doubt Keegan resigned because Ashley gave him too much money to spend and Rafa is unsure of his budget because there are so many zeros on the figure he has been given.

          • Phil

            Another way of looking at the wage structure…. We are the 5th worst payers in the league

            Pay peanuts what do you generally get? 🐒🍌

          • Clarko

            Delusions of grandeur.

            We are the 6th (counting is hard), “worst payers” in the league, but we should be in the bottom 3 as we’re a newly promoted club.

          • Rich Lawson

            I see what you are saying but as we bounced straight back up in a season surely some of the players in the squad who made the journey were already on prem’ wages (no relegation clause) which must distort your argument somewhat ?

          • Clarko

            I don’t know how any of what you are suggesting would “distort” a argument that I haven’t made. The only comment that I’ve made regarding the wage is that Newcastle sit in 15th position, in the “average pay per player” table.

            Having said that, in order to bounce straight back up Newcastle got rid of 23 players in that 16/17 window, including permanent outgoings such as Sissoko, Townsend, Janmaat, Cisse, Coloccini, Tiote, Cabella, Thauvin and Taylor, all of which would have been considered high earners.

            Now to be clear, that is not me suggesting that prior to relegation that Newcastle were leading the wage bill table, they weren’t, nor have I argued so, this specific “argument/information” is for perspective only.

            Newcastle, right now, are where you would expect them to be in, in regards to wage. Any criticism of the present salary is just silly.

          • Phil

            Football finance expert Kevin Maguire: “Between 2008 and 2015 Mike Ashley spent a net £700k (on average) a season on players.”

            This financial expert contradicts your ‘historic evidence suggests that Newcastle spend money’

            Our transfer record hasn’t been broken or looked like it since Owen. We have been relegated twice and put up with sports direct tat for 10 years. Yet you seem content with the goings on. Must be easily pleased

          • Clarko

            Kevin Maguire seems to be living 3 years in the past. Even then, his numbers are still off.

            Transfermarkt, look it up, do your own research.

    • Leicester Mag

      Great on his day but how often is that? Striking similarities with Duncan Ferguson

      • Clarko

        I disagree, 194 PL appearances, playing 12,401 minutes, with 52 goals and 25 assists (a goal contribution every 161 minutes). It’s his fitness that prevents him from being “great” on a regular basis.

    • Dillon Tovak

      Scored his first since April the other day.

      • Clarko

        194 PL appearances, playing 12,401 minutes, with 52 goals and 25 assists (a goal contribution every 161 minutes).

    • Rafa doesn’t fancy the Target Man, but rather poachers who are quick off the mark and can control and pass the ball well. He was never going to go for Carroll, even if all of us want him to return home.

      • Clarko

        Is that why Joselu has the 3rd most aerial duels won per game in the Premier League this season?

        • Mike Adam

          He may have the 3rd most aerial duels won per game in the Premier League this season, but what did they lead to???

          • Clarko

            That’s not the argument, @Steven Fox stated that Benitez “doesn’t “fancy the Target Man”. He does, Joselu plays as a target man for Newcastle.

          • Mike Adam

            Really buddy! I am not in any argument. I am simply asking what all of those won aerial duels lead to, sorry for butting into your argument. I agree with you, being a target man is the only thing Joselu can halfway do, and that is certainly how Rafa used him!

          • Clarko

            I don’t get the “Really buddy!” comment, I was explaining (nicely) that what you were suggesting/arguing was completely irrelevant to the thread of comments. This wasn’t a “lets trash Joselu” discussion, it was a target man/Carroll discussion.

          • Mike Adam

            How can what I asked “trash Joselu”? He has the 3rd most aerial duels won as you have stated. I cannot take that away from him, if anything I am trashing the rest of the attacking players. Anyway, I am not reading the threads to argue with anyone. Who would you like to see us sign in the window? Any favorites? Or positions you think we need to strength?

          • Clarko

            Dude, this isn’t an argument, you just posted an irrelevant comment. Your question “but what did they lead to?”, was a leading question, and it would have lead to a “lets trash Joselu” discussion.

            Yusuf Yazıcı

            A ST and CAM are essentials, depending on who they would be/what type of player they would be, would determine any other strengthening, for example, if we were to sign Carroll, I would sign a LB (which we are short on) that can cross (Aaron Cresswell, Philip Max, Chris Brunt or Marvin Plattenhardt).

          • Mike Adam

            Sorry, I trashed Joselu enough last year and I am trying to be positive this year. Would love Carroll to return especially if he could stay healthy. You are right we lack quality service, Ritchie was doing well but recently has lost it. Max has great assist numbers at Augsburg, seems like there is quality there but I have never seen him play. Brunt’s numbers have declined and he is up in age but I think could help this year. Not a big Cresswell fan though.

            I would love for us to buy Vincent Aboubakar from FC Porto, he has 13 goals in 16 starts along with 5 in 5 in the Champions League. We were connected to him over the summer window when he was at Besiktas, probably no chance but he would be my top choice.

            I am pretty sure you disagree if I remember correctly, but I believe that Merino could play well in the number 10 roll.

          • Clarko

            Why do you believe Merino could play well in the number 10 roll?

            Here’s why it’s a bad idea, Merino sits at 7th for the tackles made per game in the Premier League, he sits 25th for the interceptions made per game in the Premier League and finishes in 1st in those categories for Newcastle. You cannot take that out of our defensive midfield. I don’t know where this idea that he should/can play number 10 idea has came from, he’s a CDM.

          • Mike Adam

            I understand your argument and agree he is a solid CDM. I think we have alternatives in the CDM position though, but do not have anyone who is effective in the number 10 position(unless we sign one in the window). He has good size and is strong on the ball, unlike Perez. He has good dribbling skills and is becoming a quality passer. If we do not sign a number 10 and/or a quality striker I think we need to do something different up top and I think he could provide that, maybe being paired with Perez or Gayle. I certainly hope Rafa is given money to spend, but if he isn’t given much he might have to continue to change things up like he did in the Stoke match.

          • Clarko

            But we don’t have better alternatives at CDM, he is the best and you want to move our best CDM, to an attacking position because you don’t like Perez right? That’s the basis for your argument and it’s not the right argument to make.

            You would be making our midfielder weaker and nullifying his best asset, his tackling.

  • Michael Smith

    it would be embarrassing to see Andy Carroll on the bench & Joselu on the pitch, as for the players coming in expect them to be as bad if not worse then we`ve already got as Newcaslte have a habit of downgrading the team instead of enhancing it, as for players like Slimani, Ings etc that`s just a load of baloney

  • TheNutJob

    4 New signings
    jog on !

  • mentalman

    Carroll would really suit the hoof ball tactics our defenders like to employ

  • Saul Williams

    Still doesn’t know budget for transfers!What a fu***** joke!The only manager in the league who doesn’t know what he can spend.This is Ashley’s Newcastle.Roll on staveleys newcastle.

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    4 players all on loan? Has the author read the league rules?

    • Mal

      I’m never sure on this but I think you may be able to sign players from foreign clubs on loan on top of the home limit. Do you know for sure?

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        Yes, it’s limited to two loanees but non English and Welsh loans do not count. We can also only loan one from one club.

        • Mal

          Thanks. I suspect this route is the only way we might get anyone half decent this month.

  • Martin

    The most logical answer is that the reason why Fatty hasn’t told Rafa that he has money to spend is because Rafa does not have money to spend.

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    I’ll be surprised if we get a single new face through the door (or if we ship anyone out). It’s that dire when dealing with the pieman.

  • Tomb

    The squad has a higher value than Brighton or Huddersfield. Sick of net spend being used as the barometer of a squads ability in these article’s. Rafa is doing a good job with a squad of similar quality to most of the other relegation rivals aside from stoke West ham palace who should be midtable

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    It is still going to be very tight and I hope after 37 matches we can sleep easy for the season’s final weekend.

    • nufcslf

      Never with Cashley’s Sports Direct United approach. Until the hideous fat cancer is gone, nothing is ever going to change.

  • Alreet

    A min of 2 are needed. Wether it be loan or permanent but they need to be ready to run. From 12th place down has a threat this season. It will be a single point that decides the bottom 5 i think.

  • If we can get 2 quality players ( Striker and Box-to-Box midfielder hopefully ) doesn’t matter On Loan or not we will definitely stay up and can build on that with Rafa in charge!

  • Jimmy_toons

    And the FCB targeting sweet FA spent on players in this January transfer window again, no club sale, staying up by the skin of our teeth. Then when Benitez is offered full support from a proper football club and owner, and walks off into the wilderness, the FCB counts his money once more, llines his own pocket, leaving us to scrat around for the empty promises and an inclination of hope for a new season.
    Isn’t this what we really, sadly and unfortunately, expect will happen. Again.

  • Andy Mac

    Errr Sky Sports is part of Sky TV ? Sky TV is part of Sky Plc which is wholly owned by 21st Century Fox and they are about to be bought out by the Walt Disney Corporation. Which kinda brings home all these fairy tales into one place ?