Sunday morning has seen Newcastle United fans get an ‘inside story’ on the club’s transfer plans.
When reading it, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
A combination of a bit of both would probably have been appropriate.
Exactly how much of it is ‘inside story’ and how much is ‘Need to write something despite nothing is happening’, is anybody’s guess.
The report is in the Chronicle and they claim that ‘after fresh talks with Lee Charnley’, Rafa Benitez will be ‘looking to make solid progress in the transfer market this week.’
I’m guessing that every week Rafa is hoping for this, but I remain dubious as to whether he has any more hope than he has had every one of the other 10 or so weeks, since Premier League safety was guaranteed early.
Only a couple of lines after claiming ‘fresh talks’ giving Rafa hope, the report also says that the manager is in touch every day with Lee Charnley anyway, so is it not fresh talks (and disappointment) every day.
Of course it is not the Chronicle’s or any other newspaper’s fault that we have a joke of a club under Mike Ashley, I can’t imagine there is another Premier League club where it has been so excruciatingly painful to cover so far this summer. A time when every fan, and journalist, should be able to think/write feel good things about what could happen next season.
Not that it is likely to happen but surely at this stage we should all be able to dream, when there are no matches/results to remind us of the reality.
The message as always from the club hierarchy (Ashley and his minions), and this newspaper report, is as always about what can’t be done.
That £20m transfers are a bit of a ridiculous notion, even though Bournemouth spent that much on a defender a year ago.
The thing that made me laugh out load though was this line…’Benitez isn’t going to get an £80million striker this summer so he has to try to make up the balance by bringing in players who can do a job here and there’, as examples of players who ‘can do a job here and there’ the Chronicle gave us Manquillo and Joselu for the season just gone.
It is a bit like Mike Ashley saying he can’t compete against ‘sovereign states’ when defending his running of the club, when of course it isn’t fans being frustrated at not competing with Man City, rather it is when Rafa Benitez tells us that he couldn’t compete with Brighton and Huddersfield last summer on transfer fees and wages.
Nobody expects an ‘£80m striker’ but nor do they expect any more Manquillos and Joselus.
Rafa was forced to accept that this was where he had to shop if he wanted players last summer and those players tried their best but were nowhere near good enough…the thing is, there is a multitude of players between the extremes of paying £80m and £4m/£5m for Manquillo/Joselu.
As it happens, Manchester City have never paid £80m for a player, so far, and neither have Newcastle paid £20m for one, I think we can all assume though that at least one of these things won’t change this summer.
‘Rafa Benitez will be looking to make solid progress in the transfer market this week after fresh talks with managing director Lee Charnley.
Despite the Toon manager not agreeing on an extension and the uneasy backdrop at St James’ Park due to the limited transfer kitty Benitez is dealing with, the former Liverpool boss is getting on with the job.
Benitez maintains day-to-day contact with Charnley but wants to see some action this week in terms of recruitment as he looks to sign players in time for the first day of pre-season training on July 2.
However, United chiefs are quickly realising that they will have to wheel and deal in the summer window and that certain targets may be beyond them this summer.
For instance, the club’s enquiry for ex-winger Andros Townsend resulted in a quote above £20million from Crystal Palace and such a price would blow a big part of Benitez’s initial budget and leave him with a near impossible job of bringing in the striker, right-back, and midfielder he is eyeing this summer.
In short, it’s going to be a struggle to bring in a host of Premier League ready players this summer unless there is a change in budget – and Benitez and Charnley know that better than anybody.
Benitez isn’t going to get an £80million striker this summer so he has to try to make up the balance by bringing in players who can do a job here and there.’