The final 34 days of the 2017 Summer transfer window saw Newcastle United only sign Joselu.

Mikel Merino (on loan) had followed Javier Manquillo, Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune and Jacob Murphy into Newcastle United but there were big concerns still.

However, with 34 days to go, fans looked at it as a pivotal time to see what ambition would be shown.

Rafa Benitez had repeatedly said he was hoping Mike Ashley would still keep his transfer ‘promises’, so we waited to see which direction the window would go.

The reality was that Rafa in the end had to accept the situation, Ashley restricting him to only Stoke reserve striker Joselu for £5m in those final 34 days of last summer’s window.

You think surely history can’t repeat itself but how often have we been reminded of just what lengths Mike Ashley will gamble with the future of the team/club.

The ultimate being not a single player bought in summer 2013, indeed not a single one bought in for 18 months from after the January 2013 window until summer 2014.

So back to the here and now and whilst their is World Cup fever hitting the country ahead of the Sweden match, I am feeling a little hot under the collar with our NUFC transfer hopes.

If these 34 remaining transfer window days did see only one more journeyman squad player arrive, as happened 12 months ago, then we are definitely going to be deep in a relegation fight.

The recent frenzy of transfer (speculation) activity had me a little excited for a bit, well you can’t help it can you, no matter how sceptical or jaded you are due to 11 years of Ashley.

However, I am back now to thinking I will believe it if I see it.

I found it absolutely demoralising when after last summer’s window, Rafa Benitez admitted he hadn’t been able to challenge either Brighton or Huddersfield when it came to paying transfer fees or wages for new players.

You have to be realistic, if this is the case yet again then you have to accept Rafa can only do so much.

As it stands, with Kenedy no longer here and Merino heading out of the door imminently, with Ki Sung-Yueng the only new addition, we are actually significantly worse off than the final few months of last season.

I still had high hopes for Merino back then, in terms of looking ahead to this season, and as for Kenedy, he was the player who opened up the opposition and at last Newcastle had somebody to run at the other team. It made so many players look so much better, as the Brazilian’s threat opened up space and opportunity for others.

If Newcastle went into this new season with the same strikers and Atsu back on the left, I can only see struggle.

The thing is, we aren’t that far away from looking a far better team. Rafa makes it his business to sort the defence wherever he goes and he has done that job, he only needs now for ambition to be shown and buy the two or three attacking/flair players that can create the chances and score the goals that will transform relegation contenders into top eight contenders.

The clock is ticking (loudly).

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  • Rich Lawson

    Come on Ashley,the clock keeps ticking,show some proper backing for the manager and don’t sell off the best players at the last minute,this is a big season for all concerned. Your reputed to be a gambler,so you must be familiar with the phrase ”All In” ?

    • Leazes.

      Yup maybe this time!

      • Wezza

        He won’t back him though and he continues not to do so. If he had any intention of backing him he’d have done so long ago. The every penny lie is exactly that, a lie.
        Expect another bargain basement striker that will make Joselu look like Harry Kane.

        • Leazes.

          I know….. do we have the regime we deserve?….. surely not

        • Dave Pattinson

          I really don’t know why Ashley’s words are taken seriously any more. As far as we’re concerned, he’s a serial promise-breaker at best, at worst, a serial liar. I’d like to think he’d provide Rafa with cash, but experience tells me he’s only going to do the minimum. We live in hope.

  • Leazes.


    Do you know why Jonathan Drape Comyn renewed his season ticket….

    A. Belief that Ashley would change course
    B. Belief that the last eleven years were just simple mistakes anyone could make.
    C. Fear of losing his away fans points tally
    D. Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

    Calls should cost no more than premium rate plus whatever I charge
    or you can apply by post to ‘Fear of losing his away fans points tally’ Cupboard under the stairs, 4 Privet Drive, Muggleton, Surrey.

    • Mark Andrews

      It’s a trick question . None of the above . It’s Lee ryder and miles Starforth . You can leave my prize money in the bin outside of ladbrokes

    • Mark Potter

      Is it because he lives in the 21st century, and doesn’t dream about restoring kingdoms that haven’t existed for over 1,000 years? That’s not a mistake many could make. On par with believing in unicorns, dragons or Thor’s magic hammer.

    • Rich Lawson

      D. Bonzo’s, Will he be taking the vacant Viv Stanshall role in the reunion tour ? (If only he had such a way with words !)

  • If we don’t move players we won’t be signing anybody else unless on loan.

    • Duh

      I suspect that is true too. I believe there is some sort of internal policy about squad size and that Ashley has a thing about too many “staff”.

      If mitro and mbemba go, I think we might see some additions.

      I don’t believe it’s directly correlated to how much they will spend either as they often receive money over time but pay up front.

      • jack

        I agree that players have to be moved is it the squad size or basically that they have to sell to buy , meaning that there’s no cash whatsoever in the kitty until it comes from sales , which also means Rafa doesent have any sort of budget and has to create it himself , so where’s the money gone .I fed up of reading about next signing nearly done , every day same story .Ashley and his pr machine working overtime.Trying to encourage season ticket sales , Christ sake we’ve spent four lousy million are you happy with that ?

        • Duh

          I think squad size is a big factor, I should imagine Ashley is obsessed about not paying for more players than he needs to

          • Mark Potter

            The MANAGER of every club is obsessed with this. Every player he has that is receiving significant wages, but is not in the squad, reduces the money he has to spend on the squad.

          • Duh

            Some clubs more than others though

        • Mark Potter

          Where do you get that there’s no cash in the kitty? We just finished 10th in the Premiership. We got the prize money for that, plus the final instalment based on games played and our share of the overseas TV money. We got money from people renewing season tickets, and annual sponsorships. And we will have received the latest installments from selling Wijnaldum and Sissoko. We should have around £50 million in the kitty for the manager to spend. And more if he sells Mitro, Mbemba, Ritchie, Sells and Colback.

          The money should be there to buy Kenedy, Townsend, and an average striker. But with still ongoing confusion about the Chelsea manager, we can’t know whether we can buy or loan Kenedy, or whether Chelsea will keep him for their own squad.

          • jack

            If there was they would spend wouldn’t they , i think the only cash that’s in the kitty is what Rafa will create by players he sells , I’m not an advocate of you have to sell before you buy , managers need players in quickly to blend in , train together etc ,the only kitty we’ve got is what Rafa creates

          • Mark Potter

            Not necessarily. We could have £20 million earmarked for Kenedy, but still be waiting on Chelsea to decide on his future. We waited all last summer for Conte to decide to keep him in their squad, because he couldn’t get the left back he wanted.

            Weeks after the end of the season it seems that Chelsea haven’t even resolved the situation of whether they will replace their manager. Is Conte even in charge any more? So who will decide on Kenedy’s future?

          • jack

            Do you honestly believe that after past transfer windows , there might be 20.million but it’ll go in mash holding when window closes

          • Clarko

            You mean past transfer windows last the two last season where we had a net spend of £46m?

          • Ram Kishore

            Clarko we didn’t have £46m net spend..I just checked

          • Clarko

            I don’t know where you’re checking or how you’re checking it but you’re not doing right. Last season we had a £46m net spend,

          • Ram Kishore

            Transfermkt.. it doesn’t include the loan fee..Just checked..
            24.9million euros is the net spend

          • Clarko

            Official accounts:
            ‘Subsequent to the Statement of financial position date the company has committed to a further maximum net spent of approximately £46m (2016: net surplus of £40m) in respect to changes to the playing squad’

            Thauvin actually made his move permanent 3 games into his second loan spell at Marseille which would have been in August 2016 not July 2017 like transfermarkt suggests. Merino made his transfer permanent in October 2017 and not July 2018 like transfermarkt suggests. Once that is taken into account the net transfer spend according to transfermarkt is €42.9m for the 17/18 season and that’s without the Slimani and Kenedy loan fees being included (€3m-€5m).

          • Ram Kishore

            At the start of the Rafa had a budget of 46 million pounds..
            Had the sales happened early and if the wages had been cleared early.. we could have had more to invest right players and not on Joselu and Manq..

            Do you have any idea why most of deals are pretty much undisclosed for almost all.our deals(buys and sales) and other clubs in PL

          • Clarko

            Wages being cleared wouldn’t give us ‘more’ to invest. Plus we only sold three players (Murphy, Hanley and De Jong), Manquillo was brought in early (21st July) and Joselu was brought in before De Jong and Hanley were even sold. The money was just spent poorly, a lot of money was wasted on Joselu, Manquillo, Murphy and even Atsu.

            Fees are undisclosed for many reasons, the complexity of the fee (agent fees, signing bonuses, payment structure), confidentiality, perception, public image, ect…

          • Ram Kishore

            I dont think we would have signed Atsu if Gouffran who had signed an extension .. he had a good season and played well ..
            I think Murphy signing was planned one but he didn’t make a quick impact..
            Joselu,Manq and Atsu deals cost us but u definitely need squad players who would need to step when starters are out for various reasons

          • Clarko

            Again your timeline is messed up, we agreed to sign Atsu in May 2017, after that we offered Gouffran an extension. Benitez wanted both.

            Joselu, Manquillo and Atsu were not brought in as squad players, they started the opening games, they became squad players due to their performances. Why would you, after getting promoted to the Premier League, blow your whole budget on squad players? It doesn’t make sense.

          • Ram Kishore

            Makes sense

          • Mark Potter

            Manquillo played at the start of the season because of injuries to Yedlin and Dummett. He played at RB with Mbemba at LB, if memory serves correct. Then he switched to LB, when Yedlin was fit. I don’t think he was ever intended to be more than a backup.

            Gayle was injured physically at the start of the season, and I think missed much of pre-season. Then there was a spell where his head wasn’t right. At that point Mitro still seemed to have a big role to play, until he got his ban for violent conduct. Then Rafa was forced to play with Joselu. It was absolutely not correct that Joselu was bought as the first choice striker.

            In the same way, we didn’t start the first game with Merino, and he probably would have been only an occasional starter, if it wasn’t for Shelvey’s sending off.

            We also lost Lejeune in the first game. We really had to use the squad in the first months of the season. It wasn’t until January that we had everyone available, and Rafa could play a settled side, plus he managed to bring in the leftsided midfield player he had wanted in the summer – Kenedy. And the starting 11 didn’t include Manquillo, Merino, Atsu or Joselu. They were squad players.

          • Ram Kishore

            We didn’t have someone to stepup/backup Teflon after Vurnon Anita released.. Manq was brought in for that ig

          • Clarko

            Again, why would a Championship club, who have just been promoted, blow all of there budget on squad players?

            In the first 20 games of the season Manquillo started and played the full 90 minutes in 17 of those games, he was bought as a starter and he started.

            Dwight Gayle started the opening two games as Joselu joined late (16th of August), Joselu then went on to start in 11 of the next 12 matches, Dwight Gayle missed one game through injury in the time (Crystal Palace). Joselu was the starter, not Gayle or Mitrovic.

            Joselu, Manquillo and Atsu were bought as first team players, all a waste of money along with Murphy, waste of ~£30m.

          • Mark Potter

            It wasn’t the whole budget. Lejeune, in my opinion, was intended to be a first team regular. And Murphy may have been, though I suspect it was intended he would develop first.

            Remember, Rafa tried to bring in Kenedy and Abraham on loan for the season. He said he was allowed to spend all of his budget on one player, but he chose not to. Instead, about half of his budget was spent on replacing squad players. He needed to improve the overall squad quality. And he did, those players did ok. We would have been in relegation trouble if we were relying on them all season, but we didn’t.

            There’s no way that Rafa intended to play a back four of Manquillo, Lascelles, Clarke and Mbemba. He did it because Yedlin, Lejeune and Dummett were injured.

          • Clarko

            Mark, you do not know what you’re talking about, you just don’t, you are massively uniformed on Newcastle United.

            Benitez is seemingly not ‘allowed’ to spend all of his budget on one player, that’s the major reason as to why he hasn’t signed a contract extension.

            Again, I don’t know how many times I have asked this but why would a Championship team blow all of their budget on squad players?

            ‘He needed to improve the overall squad quality’. No he didn’t, he needed to improve the first team, which he ended up doing correctly in January.

            ‘We would have been in relegation trouble if we were relying on them all season, but we didn’t.’ We relied on them for the first half of the season, we were in relegation trouble, because they played, because they were brought in as starters, in January that was addressed.

            ‘There’s no way that Rafa intended to play a back four of Manquillo, Lascelles, Clarke and Mbemba’. Where did I say he did? He intended to play Manquillo and he did, for 17 out of the first 20 games.

          • Mark Potter

            Mainly opinion. But it was a fact that Rafa could spend all of his budget on one player – he said so in an interview last summer. But he chose not to.
            He was so frustrated with last summer because:

            (a) he didn’t get the loan deals he wanted – Abraham and Kenedy. Especially Abraham, as he believed he had the deal already sown up before the player went away on international duty.

            (b) he didn’t manage to sell all of the players he wanted, especially Mitro. He wanted the money to bring in more quality. We know he wanted a goalkeeper, despite the fact we had five on the books until late in the window, and he wanted a striker. There is no way that striker was Joselu. At best he was an emergency replacement for Murphy, as Rafa’s transfer window plans blew up in his face.

            So a year late, Mitro should go, and because of the better position of the club financially, Rafa should have the money to buy a decent striker. If he now brings in someone of the standard of Joselu, and I believed that person was going to be his first choice, then he will deserve criticism.

          • Clarko

            Mark, your changing the subject, you’re making a straw man. I’m not arguing about Kenedy, Mitrovic or Abraham. I’m arguing that Manquillo, Joselu and Atsu were brought in to go into the first team, I’m arguing that it was a waste.

            So again, why would a Championship club, who have just been promoted, blow all of there budget on squad players?

          • Mark Potter

            I already explained, because the required quality in the first team intended to come from loans and/or new players bought with money from sales, such as Mitro. The loans didn’t happen, the sales didn’t all happen.

            There were only five potential regulars at the club to fill the back four:
            We knew Haidara, Lazaar, Gamez, Hanley, and to some extent Mbemba, were not fancied by the manager, and most would probably be sold/loaned if possible.

            Two players brought in: Lejeune and Manquillo. From how they were described by the manager, their previous level/experience, and how they were played pre-season, it is reasonable to conclude Lejeune would get a place in the starting 11, Manquillo would not (unless there were injuries).

            Similarly with Joselu. There was nothing at all in what the manager said, the squad numbering, etc. that suggested he was brought in as the intended first choice ahead of Gayle and Mitro. Gayle retained the number 9 shirt. Joselu was a replacement for third-choice Murphy, who I don’t think started a single Championship game. If the Abraham loan had come off, Joselu would not have been bought. If the Mitro sale had come off, Joselu would not have been bought, Rafa would have had enough money to buy someone like Jorgensen.

          • Clarko

            ‘Two players brought in: Lejeune and Manquillo. From how they were described by the manager, their previous level/experience, and how they were played pre-season, it is reasonable to conclude Lejeune would get a place in the starting 11, Manquillo would not (unless there were injuries).’

            That’s complete b******s. How were they described by the manager? Where are the quotes? What is Lejeune’s previous experience? Playing for Eibar? Is that more prestigious than playing for Sunderland, Liverpool, Marseille and Atletico Madrid? Drivel, you’re talking drivel.

            ‘There was nothing at all in what the manager said, the squad numbering, etc. that suggested he was brought in as the intended first choice ahead of Gayle and Mitro.’

            What about him starting ahead of Gayle and Mitrovic? Did that not suggest that he was brought in as a starter? More drivel.

            ‘Rafa would have had enough money to buy someone like Jorgensen.’

            We had a net spend of £46m, we did have enough money to bring in ‘someone like Jorgensen’. More nonsense.

          • Mark Potter

            It was reported that Rafa had four top targets for last summer: Lejeune, Merino, Caballero and Abraham. That would significantly improve the spine of the first team. He also intended to take up the chance of permanently signing Atsu. Manquillo was not on that list, but may have been on a secondary list. Joselu was on no list, was never linked to the club until very late in the window.

            Lejeune got the highest playing time of all the squad in pre-season, and started both the games just before Spurs. It was clear that he would go straight into the first team. Rafa spoke very highly of him and he would “give us something different at the back” and that he expected him to be a “success”. Rafa mentioned he had been following his development from when he was at Villarreal (2011-2012). He was offered a five year contract.

            Joselu and Manquillo were offered only three year contracts. Rafa said of Joselu that he had come to “fight for a position in the team”, ie. he was a squad player. He said if Manquillo, “He can play both sides of the defence… He has a point to prove. He can still improve…” Squad player to cover injuries to Yedlin and Dummett, or if Dummett was called into playing at CB.

            Manquillo did not figure highly in the pre-season games, getting about half of the game time as Lejeune. But about the same as Yedlin. Yedlin was given some extra time off for international duties, then he had a hamstring injury. He wasn’t available at the start of the season, Manquillo filled in. When he returned to full fitness in mid-Sept he went straight back into the starting 11 and played virtually every game (34). Yedlin has a five year contract.

            Dummett started the first game of the season, but was injured during it. Mbemba covered LB, while Manquillo was covering RB. As soon as Yedlin returned, Manquillo swapped to LB. As soon as Dummett was fit again in Nov he returned to the starting 11. Manquillo dropped to the bench and remained there. I don’t remember him starting another game, though the stats show he started 21 games, and played as a sub in only 1. One stats site has him playing at right midfield in one game (I think the game that Rafa tried three CBs), 6 starts at RB and 11 at LB. A decent versatile squad player.

            Dummett has a six year contract (2013-19). I would be surprised if he is not offered an extension.

          • Clarko

            Did you see ‘the list’? I’m going to bet that you didn’t so any comment regarding players not being on ‘the list’ is again, complete b******s.

            ‘Lejeune got the highest playing time of all the squad in pre-season, and started both the games just before Spurs. It was clear that he would go straight into the first team.’ And Joselu, Manquillo and Atsu actually went straight into the first team…

            You keep talking about injuries and what happened after the injuries, that has absolutley nothing to do with the argument, I’m arguing that they were signed with a view to go into the first team, Yedlin being injured doesn’t change that, contracts don’t change that (very silly point).

            Have you thought about what you’re actually arguing about? You’re arguing that Benitez made a conscious decision to spend his whole budget on players that he knew weren’t good enough for the starting eleven of Championship side that had just promoted to the Premier League. Do you not see how stupid that is?

          • Mark Potter

            Of course I didn’t see the list. That’s why I said it was “reported”. It could be made up rubbish to sell papers. Nevertheless, it rings true with the overall picture of other sources of information. However much you want to believe that Manquillo and Joselu were bought as first team players, the evidence is entirely against you. We know from multiple independent sources that Rafa’s first choice to improve the first team was Abraham, not Joselu. And one of those sources was Rafa.

            Just like you think Rafa couldn’t spend all of his money on one player, while Rafa said he could. I prefer to believe Rafa was telling the truth. Not that he wanted to do it, or tried to do it, but it was a rhetorical question to Ashley to confirm that Rafa was in charge of the transfer budget.

            You repeat the nonsense that we had a Championship team, so he couldn’t have imagined that he needed cover for the full backs for example, and spent about £5m of his flimsy transfer budget on someone to provide that cover. And yet:
            (a) this “Championship team” cost more in transfers and wages than any previous team playing in the Championship, more than the entire squads of their rivals combined. And included a player (Shelvey) who several Championship pundits said was the best player they ever saw playing in that league.
            (b) apart from the skill levels, it was a team which was able to grind out results even when the opposition had most of the possession, as shown by the record highest number of away games won by any Championship team ever.
            (c) it was a team supported by the highest aggregated crowds ever recorded in second tier football in any country in the world.

            This “Championship” team with only minor adjustments, without spending huge sums of money, beat Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal and finished a very respectful 10th. When many pitching the “Championship” team lie predicted we would go straight back down unless several expensive players were bought, and specifically unless the transfer record was broken. If we didn’t finally break Owen’s £16.8m record we were doomed, they claimed. Yet still, without breaking that record, and spending very little money in January, Rafa got that team to tenth.

            With the settled back four of Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune and Dummett, we were better, though you might also argue that was because they had a goalkeeper who wasn’t a liability, and yet didn’t cost Jordan Pickford type transfer fees, nor even the £10m or so that Sunderland once paid for a keeper.

            I go on about injuries, because we have to have a good squad to survive in the Premiership. It’s not enough to throw all your eggs into eleven baskets, then find that players are injured, lose form, get banned etc. Rafa was happy to buy a mix of first team players, like Lejeune, and squad players like Manquillo. He had relative confidence about his team that they could survive. And with only a few additions, he believed (though few believed him), his team could have competed at the highest level if he had managed to get three or all four of the players on his main list. He was thoroughly frustrated because of it, and said it over and over. But you obviously weren’t listening. Buying into the narrative that Rafa was buying cheap players to come into the first team, on Ashley’s instructions. Rafa told us that was wrong.

          • Clarko

            ‘the evidence is entirely against you’.

            Really? Because you haven’t provided any… The actual evidence shows that Manquillo, Joselu and Atsu were all put into the first team straight away.

            ‘We know from multiple independent sources that Rafa’s first choice to improve the first team was Abraham, not Joselu’.

            Never said Joselu was first choice, I said Joselu was brought in to improve the first team, he was.

            You haven’t got an argument, which is why you go on and start arguing how the squad wasn’t a Championship side because ‘pundits’ said that Shelvey was the ‘best player’ they ever saw. I have a question, were those the same ‘pundits’ that were saying that Newcastle had a Championship team all last season? (You don’t know how to argue)

            Where did I say that Benitez was buying cheap players ‘on Ashley’s instructions’? Have you resorted to lying now?

          • Clarko

            ‘He said he was allowed to spend all of his budget on one player, but he chose not to’

            Just FYI, I tried to argue that point when you first brought it up but I couldn’t find the quotes, below is from Mark Douglas, the issue was brought up again today:

            ‘The version I have been given is that money is there for signings but they have to tick the right boxes and they have to be what the hierarchy (and by that I think we can safely say Justin Barnes is involved here) feels are right for United’s recruitment policy.
            So they felt Jorgensen – a full international going to the World Cup – was worth £17million (at that point) and Alassane Plea was worth £20million but no more. And that money is not available for other deals because every deal has to be judged on its own merits.
            It’s effectively trying to get the perfect deal across the line.
            One of Rafa’s red lines for signing a contract is that he gets full and final say on transfers. So if there’s £30million in the transfer fund, he wants total control over how that’s spent. If it’s £25million on a 31-year-old, he wants permission to spend it that way rather than going through various levels of management before spending it.’

            Benitez can not and was not able to spend the budget how he wants.

          • Mark Potter

            He definitely said it, but it was on TV, I didn’t read it. Not surprising that it was not widely quoted as it was the clearest evidence that he does control the transfer budget. Ashley also said that on matters of transfers Charnley reports to Rafa, and there is little doubt that the former Chief Scout Graham Carr (who was so powerful in the organisation that he was a Company Director) was let go to meet Rafa’s insistence that he has sole control. A new Head of Recruitment was appointed, Steve Nickson, but he is lower in the pecking order and reports directly to Rafa.

            There also was a televised interview around the time of the Jorgensen speculation where Rafa himself said he wasn’t prepared to pay £25m for a player without Premiership experience. It appeared to be a direct reference to Jorgensen, and reports saying that his club wanted that amount (though other reports it was in Euros, and some later reports suggested they might come down to €20m, which was much closer to Rafa’s apparent valuation).

            Either way, there is nothing concrete which has ever suggested this is wrong. We know even joumos follow the reasoning that Ashley makes all the decisions, but there really is no evidence for this. It’s like the nonsense of the religious, it sounds impressive and there’s plenty of people believe it, but you can’t find a single shred of real evidence to verify it.

            And like the religious, interpretation becomes whacky where you have extremists involved who lose touch with reality. Benitez says his contract negotiations are not a problem, this doesn’t follow their beliefs so it is interpreted as his contract negotiations are a problem. He says he knows his “number” (amount in his transfer budget), but not the specifics of how that number was arrived at (tax, wages, staggered payments, commercial deals…), he’s not an accountant. This is interpreted as there is no transfer budget.

          • Clarko

            ‘Either way, there is nothing concrete which has ever suggested this is wrong.’

            January 2017:
            Benitez didn’t get Townsend, this is what he had to say after the window had closed:

            “My decision was very clear, but it was not my decision. I said what I wanted and needed, and what the team needed, and that was it.”

            September 2017:
            Newcastle miss out on Caballero and Abraham, Newcastle went on to sign players like Joselu and Manquillo on the cheap while refuseing to pay more than £12m for a single player. After the window closed when Newcastle went on a winless run of nine matches Benitez had this to say:

            “We are where we are because we did what we did.”

            January 2018:
            We needed players, no money was spent, Slimani wasn’t even on the list of players provided by Benitez, Newcastle failed to buy Jørgensen who was number one on that list (I don’t know what ‘interview you’re speaking of), Benitez had this to say:

            “It is not the ideal situation, when you have been working for months, preparing names and analysing players and then you go to January 1 with a list of players and then you start with the names, the main target that you have.”

            Summer 2018:
            We still have signed no one.

          • jack

            We didn’t have a net spend of 46m the last two transfer windows ,don’t know where you are getting your figures from , from Ashley probably

          • Clarko

            Official accounts:
            ‘Subsequent to the Statement of financial position date the company has committed to a further maximum net spent of approximately £46m (2016: net surplus of £40m) in respect to changes to the playing squad’

            Thauvin actually made his move permanent 3 games into his second loan spell at Marseille which would have been in August 2016 not July 2017 like transfermarkt suggests. Merino made his transfer permanent in October 2017 and not July 2018 like transfermarkt suggests. Once that is taken into account the net transfer spend according to transfermarkt is €42.9m for the 17/18 season and that’s without the Slimani and Kenedy loan fees being included (€3m-€5m).

            The more you know.

          • jack

            That is the problem with Ashley’s accounts , take them with .a pinch of salt , they have ways to make them look good or bad in 2016/2017 we were minus 30million , in 2017/2018 we had a net spend of 10-5 million

          • Clarko

            Can’t lie in the accounts dummy. Like it said in the quote I provided, we had a net surplus of £40m for the 2016 summer window (we made a £40m profit on transfers), in the 17/18 season we had a net spend of £46m, fact. Go on transfermarkt and do the math yourself and stop being such a dumb dumb.


          • jack

            2017/2018 net spend of 10-25m fact 2016/2017 net surplus of 30-8m fact dummy

          • Clarko

            Yeah, you saying it’s a fact doesn’t make it a fact. On a side note I’m really impressed at just how precise you were with your numbers, ’10-25m’, you managed to narrow it down to somewhere in the region of £15m, well done…

            😂 😂 😂

          • jack

            2017/2018spent 36.2 million on players , sold players for 25.95Mill , net spend 10.2 m. 2026/2017 season players in cost 55m , players out money in 85.8.million surplus of 30.8.m so in two full seasons we are running with a surplus of 20.8.m

          • jack

            That last message on net spend should have went to you , don’t know why it’s Jack to Jack ,internet problem probably

          • I’ve got the Ki

            Sell players of value and replace them with worse ones. That’s the abiding principle. I’m sure we’ll spend a little bit – not a lot – and end up with a slightly worse team than we have now. This is the journey we’ve been on for some time. That’s why we are so lucky to have a brilliant manager. He’s figured it out now, though, and will help us for one more season only. Then back to the drawing board….

          • Ram Kishore

            Buying players to make the squad stronger is important and selling unwanted players is also important.. The conclusion of the deals for players involves multiple factors.. yes I’m a bit worried but will wait until the end of the July to see what happens..As most of the things quoted in the media has truth and lies
            It’s not easy to get deal done early for Kenedy especially with speculation about conte leaving

          • Duh

            Watch out, presenting valid points will have people calling you an Ashley apologist

          • GlasgowMag

            If you think Rafa will get 50 million plus the revenue from players who are sold you are living in cloud cuckoo land!! Look at the loan/free transfer market that’s where fat boys looking!!!

          • Clarko

            Screenshot number two.

          • GlasgowMag

            Cloud cuckoo land resident number two!!! 😂😂😂

          • Mark Potter

            That was where Rafa was looking, it was him who changed the policy. Previously the club didn’t like season long loans (only Remy in the last ten years, where we had no option to purchase, and only Merino and Ben Arfa that I remember where we had options). Nor after the debacle with people like Owen, Viduka, Gerimi and others that were older players, past their best, often picked up on a free, but with signing on fees and high wages, not saving much money, and with no resale value. Again Rafa changed that.

            We would never have bought Murphy or Diame, nor signed Ki, if it wasn’t for Rafa. And it was Rafa who wanted to sign Kenedy and Abraham on season long loans last summer. He sees this as a way to get players in that the club otherwise couldn’t afford (especially last summer, on the back of the money lost in the Championship). He has much more leeway with money this summer, but I still won’t be surprised to see Kenedy on another loan, rather than bought.

        • Lostprofit DBC

          Like us, clubs are reluctant to part til a replacement is found. In Kenedy’s case the managerial position complicates it. Some deals are set up, subject to timing. The press aren’t going to say, there is no news today.

      • Mark Potter

        Are you really unaware of the Prem League squad size rules? You can buy another squad player, but one of the existing squad must be dropped, and then why keep them (and pay their wages). So, of course, It’s generally a case of one in, one out. Nothing whatsoever to do with Ashley – the rules apply to all clubs, in all competitions, including in Europe.

        We currently have one gap in our squad – left wing, the position occupied by Kenedy. And although I’ve not seen any sign of him back in training, Mitro has technicallly rejoined the squad (he’ll be on holiday after WC), instead of Slimani. If he leaves, we save the wages, get a transfer fee, and free up a squad position for a new striker.

        On the other hand we now have too many centre midfield players. We signed Ki, but no-one has left. Merino must go, and as Rafa has made clear, they are just finalising the sale.

        • Duh

          Yeah, I am aware of it. But the likes of man city will just let highly paid players drop out of the squad.

          The other point is about getting players in before you have sorted out departures.

          • Mark Potter

            I bet they don’t. Their managers have even more of a headache with the number of players they have registered, far exceeding the squad size. They have to loan out many players every season. Even Man City can’t have a dozen well paid players picking up wages for doing nothing, ie. being in the same position as Colback at the start of last season.

            The managers of the top clubs have to manage this situation. It’s not just about money, but also keeping players happy.

            Chelsea for example have to manage the situation of three players we were linked to, who all proved they can play in the Premiership, but are still unlikey to get in their squad – Kenedy, Abraham and Loftus-Cheek. All three want/need regular game time. Their manager could sell the lot and invest the money in his first team squad, or bring in some more promising players for the future, or he could loan them again, hoping they will improve enough to gain a place in his squad.

          • Duh

            I don’t disagree. I’d rather have their problems though, I should think loaning Kennedy out is easier than. Colback

          • Ram Kishore

            Buying clubs delay deals to avoid paying wages for pre season.. which could also delay deals

          • Mark Potter

            Is that true, Ram? I’ve seen it said on here, but assume it is made up. The reason I doubt it is that all contracts definitely end on the same date. They could all in effect start on the same date. The two clubs would come to an agreement on covering wages that had already been paid out by the selling club.

          • Damon Horner

            Agreed, It’s also a risk with squad integration and more crucial, losing out on the player if a club willing to take him now comes along. In context a months wage for 1 player is a fractional cost, it’s like the average man creating a risk and quibbling over £1 a week saving.

          • Ram Kishore

            Because I remember Rafa
            Last season say in the pre match conference before west ham or Huddersfield match that Players and Buying clubs delay the move.. Why couldn’t Achraf make a loan move earlier even if the wages were covered by Benevento?..
            Emmanuel Rivere..I think we gave him for free and yet he stayed until the last week.. He agreed the deal with the French club but never made the move..
            These two were my suspects when Rafa told in the interview..There could have been few more..

          • Damon Horner

            My guess is it would be subjective to the transfer. Live example, Ronaldo is on the brink of moving to Juventus for 88mil, why now and not later? It’s because the player wants the move anyway and the club appeals to him, the selling club has got it’s acceptable valuation and when would the buying club in this example secure a 5-time Ballon D’Or winner (still active)?

            When you’re talking about the Riviere’s/Lazaar’s of this world, it matters more to shift him than secure him so the amount spent (wages and all) can be negotiated in the buying clubs favour and if it fell through, how far do you have to look for a player of equal quality? Sometimes as well if you can’t afford the wages as it stood then waiting can mean the selling club relaxes their demands a bit.

            So when I say subjective, it generally can rely on the demand of the player. of course another reason is the buying club is set to get the funds from selling another player and this could be a chain reaction down the line from club to club.

          • Lostprofit DBC

            Good post, this is so right, Kenedy was on the tip of my tongue when you beat me to it. This is why we are hitting a brick wall rather than seeing reluctance from the club. The Colback thing was more than just squad size, Tim Krul more fitted that reason.

      • Ram Kishore

        I think only in big money deals we often receive payments in a structured way..

    • Leazes.

      We’ve moved 23

      • Kneebotherm8

        Same excuse every Window……… a broken record…..

  • FatParosite

    I am absolutely certain that we will NOT break our transfer record this closed season. That should tell you ALL you need to know about who is running NUFC. If that is not an indicator to revolt we are doomed as a club.

    • Clarko


    • Leazes.

      We are at a stage now where our record transfer fee gets you a player who can run with the ball and tie his own shoe laces…. and that’s about it, the consequences of not competing are dangerous for the club.

      But as Ashley said in January…. he has

      ….’no interest in the club’.

      He never did…he’s a Chelsea fan.

    • Lostprofit DBC

      We will not speculate to the tune of £16m or so (I mean go into the red) but I’m sure they will spend the incoming money. Apparently this is going to happen very soon. This is from someone who knows better than us.

  • Weyhhadaway

    The World Cup is all but over so the flood gates will open, soon we will see some top signings, the deadwood will float away and we will be in the top six after six games, with Rafa signing a new deal and singing the praises of out great ownership.

    Sorry I was medicated when I wrote that and my back button doesn’t work.

  • Lostprofit DBC

    Few signings yet but the signs are good. Rafa will only sign a new contract when the transfer record is broken and ambition is shown. It appears factual that we bid £20m for Plea. Although turned down Benitez is also keen on Rondon at £16.5m. I hate rumours but have it on good authority that there are big bids imminent. Watch this space. Like negativity, positivity at this stage is unfounded. NUFC are really at the crossroads in the next 5 weeks. I am confident that we will make a breakthrough in the next week and it won’t be like Joselu.