Mike Ashley has yet again undermined Rafa Benitez and the Newcastle Manager is not happy about it, according to Sky Sports on Friday morning.

They say that whilst Benitez was relieved to finally get a couple of players in, with Kenedy and Islam Slimani (as well as keeper Martin Dubravka) arriving on loan.

The Spaniard feels that it was a case of hopefully not too little too late.

Keith Downie covers Newcastle United for Sky Sports and he says that Rafa wanted  Kenedy in the summer and that whilst Slimani was a possible target, he was only ‘fourth or fifth choice’.

At the very least Sky Sports say that Benitez expected January signings to arrive early in the month to give him the best chance of avoiding relegation.

However, Downie says that the United boss feels Mike Ashley will just ‘drag everything out and make it hard’ for his manager.

After the opening day of the transfer window when Newcastle beat Stoke away from home 1-0, they have then had four matches and won none of them, picking up only draws in winnable games against Swansea, Burnley and Palace, plus the defeat at Man City.

Back in December, Rafa Benitez said he needed all of his signings in by 15 January, or 20 January at the very latest so he had time to work with new players and integrate them into his squad.

Instead he got nobody by either the 15 or 20 January, with the feeling of many being that Mike Ashley was once again making a petulant point of showing who was in charge, after Rafa had gone public with those dates.

This window was a repeat of the previous two, with Rafa Benitez setting up deals at the start of each window, only for Mike Ashley to refuse to do the deals for the manager’s first choice signings.

This is yet another January without a single player bought, making it four of the last five when Mike Ashley hasn’t allowed any spending in the midway window.

Keith Downie of Sky Sports:

“Rafa Benitez is not happy.

“He’s got Kenedy now, but he wanted him in the summer, not halfway through the season.

Slimani, I understand, was on his list of possible striker signings for January, but he wasn’t his priority. He was fourth or fifth choice.

“I think he is satisfied to have at least got those players in, but he feels it should have been done a lot earlier rather waiting until the end of the window.

“He could have had them in for three or four games already. And right now, with so few games to go, every game and every point is massive.

“So he is frustrated. I think he just feels the club drag everything out and make it hard. He gave them his list of targets at the start of the month, but they didn’t get them in until deadline day.

“He had already done the checks and background work on them himself, so why not get them in earlier?

“There’s no doubt that the takeover had a massive impact on the January transfer window.

Staveley promised she would spend money if she had taken over, but Ashley didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something he might not own in four months’ time.”



  • TheNutJob

    has he not twigged on yet that Gulag Mike rules the roost and he along with those before him are just employees. Rafa is there to coach & keep the club in the premiership for fatty to reap the rewards. he has no say in the transfers,
    that ceased in January 2017.

    • Paul Patterson

      Just look at the way Gutierrez and Taylor were treated.
      CARVER- Hi Jonas, just to let you know, your contract will not be renewed for next season.
      JONAS- I’m sorry to here that. Ryan! Have you heard this from the boss . .
      CARVER- Wait Jonas . .
      JONAS- Yes boss!
      CARVER- Is that Ryan Taylor with you . .
      JONAS- Yes.
      CARVER- Good, put him on . . .

  • Megatron1505

    It’s actually a fairly decent opinion piece for once from Sky.

    • Dutch

      pathetic answer.

  • Wor Lass

    We knew all this on jan 31st (in fact, we knew long before then!) so why is it being raked over again now? Could it be a bit of a stunt to show Rafa as a whinger on behalf of his boss and Sky`s big buddy Mike Asholey?

  • ghostrider

    So Rafa has divulged all this info out to the media about this and that.
    Ok then let’s hear what Rafa had in mind as his choices and why he never got them over the line if he’s not happy with Ashley’s dragging on tactics.

    Kenedy in the summer but Ashley dragged his heels, right?
    I’m sure kenedy’s wages aren’t as ridiculous as most wages and a summer move would only have been a loan, so why dragging heels?
    Maybe Chelsea wouldn’t loan him out.

    All kinds of garbage gets spewed when it’s against Ashley.
    Paint a picture of hate for Ashley and a picture of rosiness for Benitez to cater for his many mess ups.

    What a complete load of bull.

  • JohnnyNUFC

    Rafas got every right to complain about how slow and cumbersome we are when dealing with transfers, its pathetic and the FA should query whether Ashley has the best interests for the club on his agenda other than just taking the pee and having a bit of a gamble, its become beyond a joke and something serious has got to happen ASAP

    • Phildene

      I have contacted both the F.A and the PL but it seems they don’t want to know as not even a courtesy reply. Both the FA and P L should have a duty towards the Right and Proper owner scenario, but seemingly do not want to get involved.

      • mactoon

        The fit and proper person test is only applied to a potential purchaser. It makes sure the body wishing to purchase a club has not been banned from being a director and has money from a reputable source i.e. not illegally gained. It has no bearing on the owner once they have bought the club.

  • Leazes.

    Why did you bother with this Jim? There was a more enlightening and unguarded interview with Ashley by a Newcastle fan who had a few moments of access in a Central London Pret-a-Manger coffee shop yesterday.

    Ashley has said there is no takeover in the near future, the loan signings were brought in because he didn’t want to spend money on a club he has no interest in…

    This means the same policy will be in place for the summer, when he’s hoping to sell despite no serious bidders. if we are still in this division.

    It just goes on and on doesn’t it…. stringing along the fans, and wiping clear season after season.

    This club died in 2007

  • Mrkgw

    Sooner Ashley goes the better. He has had enough after 10 years of ownership. Of him, so have we.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    He is happy with his three signings. Chelsea would not release Kenedy so yet more rubbish written by the media. It’s not just about a list of targets the players might not want to come here so the clubs might price us out with twenty five million transfer fee and a £2m signed player.

    • Guest 2

      Yet your comments are based on what you read in the media. You really are a complete Muppet.

      • Jezza

        His comments are based on what he reckons will wind people up on this site. Don’t feed the troll.

  • Dillon Tovak

    No sh|t!
    Stirring up rubbish to help their precious Man Utd.

  • Martin

    Had we beaten Swansea at home there would have been no loan signings at all. We waited until the end of the window because Ashley wanted to see if he could avoid getting anyone in at all. However, Rafa convinced that we needed someone otherwise we were in real trouble. The bids for Jorgensen were made for show knowing that they would be rejected. There was never any intention of spending £15 million on a striker.

  • Jonas

    The takeover effected January. Mike Ashleys takeover has negatively effected nearly 20windows and every January

  • GToon

    I think we all need to understand that Ashley sees the summer and January as the opportunity to make money by selling players not lose money by buying players. It’s his two chances a year to get a return, aided and abetted by those idiots he has working for him who will drag out any purchases until the last possible moment in the hope that “the line” cannot be crossed in time.

  • nufcslf

    What a pathetic state of affairs and nothing new there then.