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Rafa Benitez gives first pre-season interview – Explains how he knew the score with Mikel Merino and why signed midfielder

9 months ago
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Rafa Benitez was smiling in the sunshine, almost as though he has seen this all before.

The Newcastle boss back for pre-season training and as well as getting stuck into working with his players, he also spared time for his first pre-season interview.

Ask a stupid question…

Rafa asked what he had been up to this summer….’working!’ was the reply.

He conceded he had been to visit his family in Spain, for a weekend…

As for the transfer window the manager says he has been working hard on that, a transfer window which sees as a ‘difficult’ one.

Talking specifically about Ki Sung-Yueng, Rafa Benitez says that he had to be ‘sure we had an option’ as he knew Mikel Merino was going to be heading out.

His departure to Real Sociedad is expected to be confirmed any time soon, with Rafa saying that he knew La Liga clubs were interested and that his release clause was just waiting to be triggered.

Interesting that when it does finally go through, either Rafa or the player will explain where that move has gone so wrong in such a short space of time.

Rafa Benitez speaking to NUFC TV:

‘How have you spent your summer?’

“As I normally do, working.

“I was in England, in Liverpool, I (also) went to visit my family, a weekend in Spain.

“But the rest of the time in Liverpool, working, working hard.

“Trying to do the same in this difficult transfer window, to work hard and do our best.”

‘You have signed two players, Martin Dubravka and Ki Sung-Yueng?’

“To be fair, we knew about the interest of Spanish teams in Mikel Merino and his release clause, so we were trying to be sure we had an option.

“A player like Ki (Sung-Yueng), a player with quality, with experience in the Premier League.

“So hopefully we can bring the best from him.”

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