It is now two days until the World Cup finals kick off and also two days until we get to four weeks into the Summer transfer window, so far Rafa Benitez has only seen Martin Dubravka sign a permanent deal.

Newcastle fans had expected a flurry of early activity with the Spaniard always keen to get some targets in early – but no other moves so far.

There have been French media claims of Lille rejecting a bid for 21 year old Brazilian midfielder Thiago Maia but overall, even transfer speculation has tended to be more about players who might leave Newcastle rather than come in.

Whilst Dubravka was very welcome news, it was more a case of an open goal that could be missed, a deal that was expected and Newcastle had no choice but to get it done by the end of May or else they would have lost the option to buy for a bargain £4m.

Tuesday morning sees reports of Rafa Benitez seeking talks with Lee Charnley, the Northern Echo saying their information is that the manager wants an update on how far things have progressed with the list of targets he has previously given the club’s hierarchy.

The report adds that the understanding is that Rafa Benitez has made clear that as a bare minimum he needs to bring in a striker, winger, midfielder and defender.

To those cynical of the media, after signing goalkeeper Dubravka, that list covers pretty much every position!

The reality of course is that Newcastle do indeed need to add quality/competition throughout the team.

For most Newcastle fans judging what is most desperately needed, Goalkeeper now looks relatively sorted, with Dubravka as number one and Darlow & Elliot as back up, with Freddie Woodman likely to go out on loan to get playing time.

Centre-back is probably next most sorted, Lascelles and Lejeune seen as first choice with Ciaran Clark a very reliable cover. The expected departure of Chancel Mbemba will create room for a replacement but not as an absolute essential.

Central midfield is also relatively strong, like the centre-back pairing, Diame and Shelvey are undisputed first choice after the way they played in the final months, whilst Mikel Merino has a lot of promise. However, there does appear to be substance in the growing claims of a return to Spain being on the cards, which gives a bit more credence to the claimed interest in Thiago Maia.

As for essentials, I can’t believe any supporter will not think that a striker and left winger are absolute essentials, with a number 10 not far behind.

Right wing looks ok with Matt Ritchie and Jacob Murphy as back up, whilst with Gamez and Haidara now leaving, competition in both full-back positions would be welcome. Manquillo can cover both sides but hasn’t really convinced that he up the job.

With 20 days until pre-season starts, Rafa Benitez is sure to want as much business done as possible before the squad return to business, hopefully the next signing to be announced will be a statement of intent.

  • JonMag

    Might as well talk to the wall as that dipstick Penfold, he`ll be carrying out his masters orders to the T, delay, delay, delay.

  • JonMag

    Guess what, according to the chron Bas Dost is available on a free,
    i bet that has the halfwit Ryder running around with a hard on

    • Clarko

      The agent fee/signing on fee will make up for the lack of transfer fee if his contract does get terminated, it will be far from a free transfer.

      • Wor Lass

        If it`s free of a transfer fee then it`s a …. free transfer! #outclarkoed

        • TheFatController

          It’ll be a Lonsdale hoodie transfer if Mike has his way…

        • Ram Kishore

          There will be signing on fee demanded by top players when they move for free .. it may not be considered as transfer fee but adds to the wages or the budget definitely

          • Wor Lass

            Ram, I know that, mate – I`m just doing a Clarko on the man himself. Try to keep up!

      • Tino11

        Clarko what a tit you are, free transfers have ALWAYS had agent fees and signing on fees, the same as deals that involve a transfer fee, but because no transfer fee is involved the deals are correctly called a FREE TRANSFER, you are buying the player not the agent, you bell end.

        • Clarko

          Where did I say that free transfers have not ‘ALWAYS had agent fees and signing on fees’?


          • Tino11

            “it will be far from a free transfer”

            When in fact it will be a FREE TRANSFER because that is defined by NO TRANSFER FEE being involved. God you really are thick.

          • Clarko

            You can’t read, I can’t help you if you can’t read.

            Nowhere did I say that free transfers have not ‘ALWAYS’ had fees and singing on fees and nowhere did I say that there would be a ‘TRANSFER FEE’ involved.

            You’re a complete f*****g moron dude.

          • JonMag

            temper, temper.

          • Clarko

            Temper? I’m not mad, I’m shocked at just how stupid people on this platform are.

          • Tino11

            Again, “it will be far from a free transfer”

            By the very definition of what a free transfer is, as set by FIFA, it will be a free transfer because no fee is involved, wages and fees do not form part of the transfer deal between two clubs. Therefore your statement that it will be “far from a free transfer” is 100% incorrect, whether you stated it was because of fees or wages or not that you came to your conclusion, you are still wrong. The only moron with no grasp of football here is you, DUDE (what are you, 15?)

          • Wezza147

            Just block the troll mate. It’s far more pleasant.

          • Clarko

            Where did I say that a ‘fee is involved’? I didn’t you moron.

            It will be far from a free transfer, it would be a transfer that would likely cost the club over 8 figures due to the signing on fee, bonuses, image rights and agent fee.

            Again, learn to read before commenting, moron.

          • Tino11

            But you’re 100% wrong,

            “It will be far from a free transfer, it would be a transfer that would
            likely cost the club over 8 figures due to the signing on fee, bonuses,
            image rights and agent fee”

            None of those things are included in the transfer of a player between two clubs, only the TRANSFER FEE is included, therefore a FREE TRANSFER is by definition FREE, again this is what FIFA class as a FREE TRANSFER. All those other things are part of any deal betweeen the player and the club buying him, they are EXTRA costs and NOT PART of the ACTUAL TRANSFER. So you are 100% TECHNICALLY WRONG by stating the TRANSFER WILL BE FAR FROM FREE, because the transfer is free, it just has the normal player contract costs added, exactly like any other deal. Again, one last time, NO UPFRONT FEE FOR A PLAYER MEANS THE TRANSFER IS FREE BY FIFA STANDARDS, these DO NOT TAKE IN TO ACCOUNT any FEES incurred when negotiating the players contract. Therefore whatever it costs the club over the transfer fee cannot be used to change the fact that it is a FREE TRANSFER to the club.

          • Clarko

            Learn to read:

            ‘The agent fee/signing on fee will make up for the lack of transfer fee if his contract does get terminated, it will be far from a free transfer.’

            Never said there would be a ‘TRANSFER FEE’. You’re 100% wrong. Dummy.

          • Tino11

            “it will be far from a free transfer.’

            Wrong, it is a free transfer.

            “The agent fee/signing on fee will make up for the lack of transfer fee”

            Wrong, it doesn’t ‘Make up’ for the lack of the fee, there is no such thing as ‘making up for the lack of a fee’. Every single transfer involves negotiating a contract with the player and agent, which covers wages and fees. None of that is included in the outlay the club has paid upfront for the player, it is a separate issue.

            Put it another way, go on to the BBC or Sky website and find me a FREE TRANSFER where it says “The transfer wasn’t really free because it cost x amount in wages or fees”, go on find just one example. You pleb.

          • Clarko

            Do you understand context? Maybe you should look that up on the BBC and Sky website. Dummy.

            The signing on fee, bonuses, wages and agent fees will absolutely make up/compensate for the lack of transfer fee, they will all be significantly higher compared to if the player was contracted and it wasn’t a “free transfer”.

            Look at Lewandowski, he pocketed a ~£10m when he move from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich on a “free transfer, look at the Sanchez transfer, now that wasn’t a “free transfer” because he was still contracted to Arsenal but because he only had 6 months remaining on his contract and no transfer fee switched hands (player swap with Mkhitaryan) Sanchez managed to bag himself a £20m signing on fee, his agent earned £10m-£15m and Sanchez will earn £490,000 a week, all because no transfer fee was paid. “Free transfers” are not free, they can be as costly as your standard transfer.

            I wasn’t arguing/discussing as to whether the Dost transfer would be classified as a “free transfer” or not, I was arguing that the “free transfer” would cost Newcastle an absolute fortune despite it being a “free transfer”, if you were able to read, understand context and process information you would’ve recognised that and you would’ve avoided embarrassing yourself dummy.


          • Tino11

            The fact is your statement was “it will be far from a free transfer”.

            If you had said “even though the transfer is free it could still cost
            quite a lot of money with a bigger signing on fee, higher wages etc”.
            That would have been the correct ‘context’.

            So unfortunately you were wrong all along, you dime bar.

            Clarko = Owned.

          • Clarko

            Context: the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.

            I told you to look it up.

            ‘The agent fee/signing on fee will make up for the lack of transfer fee if his contract does get terminated, it will be far from a free transfer.’

            The context in this case being, ‘The agent fee/signing on fee will make up for the lack of transfer fee if his contract does get terminated’, you ignored it.


        • Ram Kishore

          There wouldn’t be a signing on fee when u buy a player..Clarko was saying it adds up to the cost

      • Rich Lawson

        Don’t forget the wage demand !

  • Alex

    Will these be talks, or just talks about talks?

  • Dillon Tovak

    We’re not signing anyone!
    Maybe a bargain bucket deal with a couple of days to go at a stretch.

  • Coble’s Return

    Rafa is “seeking talks” with Charnley ffs. Should Charnley not be on the phone to Rafa at 8:00am every day of the week, updating him on progress with targets and asking him what else he can possibly do to support his efforts to take the club forward? He is the Managing Director – the only sodding director – what else has is he doing?

    • Wezza147

      Exactly. Why is this club ran so badly? It’s beggars belief.

      • Sickandtired

        By the time Penfold has finished hoovering, dusting and washing the windows, there isn’t much time left for football stuff.
        He’ll get around to that in the last week of the window.

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Great summing up. I hope Kenedy is the priority. Personally rather than buy a striker, I would give Mitrovic a chance. He will prosper in our improved shape, him and Kenedy……who needs Salah. This is one area that baffles me, surely there must be something personal with Rafa? Rashford would be great on loan but he like Mitrovic isn’t proven as a scorer in the premier. I think he will be soon. At the back I think Dummet gives us versatility when playing as a 3. He’s half CB and half FB, a bit like Steve Watson. Maybe get Skirtel as Rafa has instructed.

  • Rich Lawson

    ”No,he’s definitely in his office Mr Benitez, have you looked under the desk” ?

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Hopefully the talks will be about a new contract and update on the bids in place.

  • mactoon

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Charnley has been told to do nothing on the transfer front until Rafa’s contract saga comes to a conclusion. With the exception of Dubravka which had a specified date by which the fee had to be paid.