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.

The Chronicle:

‘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.’

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  • JonMag

    how can he be getting on with the job when he`s blocked every window,
    he`s doing what all before him did, that`s get what he`s given & put out a team.
    we`re no better off with a World Class manager than we were with Pardew & Rafa is here to do exactly what the Pie Man wants, that`s any position in the league will do as long as it`s not in the bottom 3 and this time next year Benitez will be gone

    • ghostrider

      He’s not blocked though.

      • JonMag

        [email protected]@k off stupid

        • Ba ba.

          👍 😂 😂 He’s a belend isn’t he

          • JonMag

            mad as a hatter

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Him & ghostrider aka Ashley & Charnley

      • jack

        Of course he’s blocked , it’s common knowledge he gives them a list of people he would like to sign and ends up with dross which is cheaper , how is that not being blocked

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          It’s common knowledge? KniweKnow on this forum is far from common, quite short on supply

          • jack

            It’s not rocket science

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It’s not, why the need to make up stuff.

          • JonMag

            you do it all the time, Benitez transfers requests are blocked by Ashley, end of story

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I only post reality on here. I don’t know if Rafa is blocked from doing anything, neither do you. It’s pub talk.

          • Billmag

            It’s a well known fact Bobbi, Barnes was brought in to oversee the spending, it doesn’t matter how much you back Ashley the facts are there for all see, why else was he brought to the club.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It’s not a fact, it’s an interpretation at best, an interpretation that has been repeatedly mentioned to the point, some believe it to be true.

          • Billmag

            So why was he brought in then, it certainly wasn’t to make Penfold’s tea.

          • Come&TakeIt1836

            A lot of people seem to struggle with the concept of ‘fact’ vs. ‘opinion/conjecture/spin/agendas/conspiracy theory’. There are precious few facts on offer which leads to the wide varieties of the second group existing. The thirst for enough facts (whatever that is believed to be) causes some to push items from this second list forward as if they were facts.

          • Mayor Vaughn

            Blocked from having a realistic,competitive budget.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            10th net spend in the division last season according to Transfermkt.

          • Mayor Vaughn

            Mid table in the net spend league too, heady days indeed.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            We’ve not got top four money

          • jack

            So Rafa being blocked is made up ?

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I suspect that it is. Rafa has a budget so in that regard, he’s restricted but so are most football clubs.

          • jack

            Restricted to minimum spend , not to go over 10m ,can’t sign players he wants , can’t sign Townsend in January , restricted to loan deals ? And so on , the fact is a succession of managers have been blocked from signing , I’m not gonna go through all the names , but the players who were earmarked to come to Newcastle is staggering , and it’s happened with every manager be they good or bad , Hypia , Modric , Lacazette ,aubamayang , to name just a few where paying above transfer record would have secured them .it’s all the blocking , restrictions , minimum spend which makes us a club devoid of ambition under Ashley regime , and some of the signings were no brainers and all good sell on value for the greedy man

          • JonMag

            you can [email protected]@k off as well

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Charming, the position of brightest spark on the forum seems to have passed from Jezza to @JonMag. You may wear a conical hat

        • ghostrider

          Common knowledge or fact?

    • Paul Patterson

      I can’t believe that some on here actually still believe legitimate bids actually go in on players at their actual value.
      Club value player at £20m, Newcastle bid £10m, phone goes dead, Newcastle say ‘we tried’. Repeat until nowt happens . .

  • Paul Patterson

    £80m in total may not be needed, so this journalist is a buffoon.

    • Leazes.

      £80m ‘more than’ half the league IS needed, and yes the journalist is a buffoon!

      • Paul Patterson

        Not entirely sure. If (for example) we got Kenedy (£20m) Townsend (£20m) a £25m striker and Dubravka, I’d be reasonably pleased.
        Won’t happen though.

        • Leazes.

          You think the rest of the league sitting on £120m Sky money aren’t going to spend?

          • Paul Patterson

            No, they will. But I’m suggesting that having those signings from the off would have us safe earlier (or better). If we’d had them (or similar) from the start of last season we would have been near Europe. This squad is ok, but NEEDS a few players in certain areas. We’ve lost a key player in Kenedy and we seem like we aren’t going to replace him with the same quality, so heaven help us on the quality striker search.

          • Leazes.

            What I’m saying is most of the clubs will be looking to upgrade their squads especially our group the ‘cannon fodder’ who will want a bit of distance from the bottom three.

            Currently there is a £80m/£100m gap between us and Leicester or Everton and that’s where we need to be not scraping the barrel for loans and hoping that there are three worse clubs!

          • Lostprofit DBC

            He may come yet, maybe already agreed. Watch this space.

  • Leazes.

    Phil….. There was a story in the Chronicle just a couple of weeks ago, and in it Mark Douglas the Sports Editor talked with Graham Carr the ex-chief scout, in which the latter said that he had recommended a whole host of players but to no avail and he realised there was a ceiling on purchases so he stopped recommending and player whose value was over a certain figure…. that figure was around £15m.

    The whole of the sports staff on the paper know about the story and yet still pump out stuff that they cant possibly believe in.

    So where do the links come from?…. I can exclusively reveal that it doesn’t take a genius to realise that Benitez isn’t in communication with the Chronicle!

    Do the local papers have insiders…. yes but not Ashley, Benitez or Charnley…. it was for years the Goalkeeping coaches, Shay Given, Kieron Dyer, and of late Robbie Elliot. and Peter Beardsley, who cant be party to anything confidential, but will give the Thomson Twins something to make them feel superior to mere mortals like us, while they pump out page fillers and speculation based on bngger all.

    So why don’t the tell the truth about this regime? They knew from day one that it was to be run on a shoestring by the owner… they did an interview early with Ashley and the information they all received wasn’t good…. I know that personally, I also know it came as a surprise the everyone in Thomson House when Ashley appointed Keegan because they thought the owner had a change of heart and direction…. they were going along for the ride and produced a giveaway ‘cardboard Crown’ outside of the ground for Keegan’s first game with the words ‘Return of the King’ emblazoned across it….

    …. we know the rest, it was the end of this club as a serious concern and the asset strip started along with one of the last public statements by a United Club Chairman Chris Mort.

    ….the man who quite literally ‘was death’ disappeared like the club.

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Basically nothing has happened and it’s more of the same. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing depends on your outlook. The pessimist would point to the inactivity being typical Ashley with the departure of Rafa imminent. The optimist, we already have a good team that just needs a tweak here and there, Rafa isn’t at all unhappy, he expected this. Personally This just reinforces all the doubts that everyone has about Ashley and we need a change. The big question is how and when do you start. I would say give things a chance as the team have improved no end lately but now lack Kenedy.

    • Leazes.

      We weren’t safe until the middle of April and had a fortuitous season on the injury front along with a bit of luck in beating Manure, Arsenal and Chelsea…. I wouldn’t gamble on history repeating itself…. but Ashley would!

      • Paul Patterson

        Minimum spend trying to get by. Encounter problems mid season with a need to spend in January. Loans brought in to arrest slide, hope to get out of jail by May. Rinse and repeat.

        • Leazes.

          Oh god yes that was necessary to avoid the drop…. Luckily Dubravka and Kenedy were actually quite good…. well better than we had at least!

      • Lostprofit DBC

        Very true, it’s a case of when do we actually TRY To do something about it. Fortunately I think Rafa is taking that out of our hands at the moment and we are witnessing a fascinating power struggle. Big news in itself. Has anyone ever thought Mike wants him out and HE won’t go.

  • SuperDesHamilton

    He isn’t gonna get £10 million to spend never mind £80 million!!!

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    It’s like “Groundhog Day” with every man and his dog trying to second guess Ashley and saying he should do this, That and the other !
    “The Chronic” and everyone else has a go at it season in, Season out but never seem to learn !

    Why do a lot of people seem to think that Ashley will change and do what is right by the club ?
    You get sick and tired of the same people telling us what Ashley needs to do because he is never going to do want you want !

    Like Keegan said “He Has Run It His Way”, And that is never going to change, So get used to it or leave him to it !

  • Gary Linskey

    I don’t think any Newcastle supporter was expecting Benitez to sign an £80 million striker. Infact no one probably thought he’d get that much cash to revamp the full squad…
    Most Toon fans I’ve spoke to just want Ashley to financially compete with the likes of Leicester, Burnley or even Southampton?
    We all know that’s not likely to happen though, but at the very least our “budget” has to be on par with these clubs??

    • Leazes.

      Some people know that there is a price ceiling and a wage ceiling because Ashley runs United like he runs his stores…..

      …. Will he break the barrier and capitulate to Rafa or will United have a ‘Trophy Manager’ for just one final year?

  • Lostprofit DBC

    If the papers are hard up and need an exclusive: Newcastle United will, next week, offer a 45pc stake in the club to Chinese investors. The company Bejing Direct recently failed to buy SAFC with a bid of £0 already own a burger van and takeaway outside the Sradium of —–, weren’t available for comment. An insider did however issue a statement, ‘postage is free and shipping takes 28 to 45 days, please leave positive feedback’. Kenedy had an interest in the Chinese but his club Chelses, weren’t available for comment, he was sent home.

  • TheFatController

    There’s a rumour going around that Ashley is a proven liar and runs the club at bare minimum investment.

    If it’s true, should we expect anything to happen majorly in terms of signings this summer ?

    Let’s hope the rumours aren’t true and we spend big big big …

    • Lostprofit DBC

      More than a rumour unfortunately, all facts. Let’s hope we can be relatively successful within his restrictions and Rafa wins the power struggle which is definitely going on.

  • Toon

    Massive yawn, do you not get bored when you write about Ashley and ‘lack of investment’, hardly ground breaking

    • Lostprofit DBC

      Agreed, well said, action needed, not words.

  • Paul Patterson

    The trouble with the Chronicle is that I wouldn’t trust them to get an inside story if they was given exclusive access to a Heinz factory to find some beans . .

  • Atilla McNamee

    The Chron has no access to the real decision makers at Shirebrook so doesn’t have a clue what is going on

  • MadMag83

    Perhaps it was a typo and they actually meant we won’t even get an £8m striker.

    Ashley isn’t going to spend another penny, he wants out. His master plan is to tell Rafa to sell most of the squad to raise funds (whilst reducing the wage bill) and then pocketing said cash and pleading poverty. All while he waits for some idiot to buy the club at his inflated price.

  • Mayor Vaughn

    Appreciate Rafa while he’s here folks, at the most 1 more season. More likely sacked at Xmas then no money spent in January and cheap yes man appointed just after the window closes.

    • Wezza147

      This is what I have been fearing. Imagine what will happen to us in the post Rafa era.

      • Mayor Vaughn

        We’ve lived through it before with Kinear, McLaren, Carver. I shudder to think what hapless idiot will get the call next time. I guarantee they’ll be out of work, desperate and will sign up for anything. O’Leary and Curbishley spring to mind.

  • Geordieguy

    The chronicle must have an inside man to get these kind of scoops

  • Wezza147

    ‘ after fresh talks with managing director Lee Charnley.’

    Why should it need fresh talks when those talks and Rafa’s targets should have been discussed even before the season ended. It’s the usual tumbleweed and delay tactics for the club to make excuses not to invest.

    ‘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.’

    Because there is no ambition, just money being the number one priority. I keep asking myself why MA does this and the only rational explanation I can come up with is that it is out of spite. Fact is we can now compete and offer the wages our competitors are doing and the damning fact is that we WON’T, not that we CAN’T.

    ‘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’

    Which there won’t be.

  • Mayor Vaughn

    10 years, successive managers have been given artificially low/no budget to work with. We all know whats happening nothing has changed Rafa will be allowed to spend the barest of bare minimums this summer, players will be sold but transfer fee’s will be paid in installments by the buying clubs so this money won’t be counted in the “Rafa will get every penny” balance sheet. It’s farcical that clubs like Wolves, Fulham, Burnley, Bournemouth, Southampton, Watford, Palace, West Ham and others will all likely spend many more millions on there squad than Rafa will be given. The money is there, the will isn’t.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Pre-relegation, we’ve consistancy been in the top 7 spenders on wages and transfers. To finish above 7th over-paid, below under -performs.

      You say “It’s farcical that clubs like Wolves, Fulham, Burnley, Bournemouth, Southampton, Watford, Palace, West Ham” how about you put your money where your mouth is? I bet our net spend (using Transfermkt as the guide) will exceed the net spend of one of those clubs. £25?

  • Shipcote Willy

    No need to tell the fans that nothing will change while the odious owner remains. His bare minimum policy will continue whatever articles are written to raise hopes of fans. Nothing will change and things will get a lot worse once Rafa leaves, whether this season or next. Gloomy I know.

  • William

    only one solution…do not buy seasn tickets until we got the money benitez wants