The January transfer window is now seen as a last chance saloon by many/most Newcastle fans.

The last four windows have seen Mike Ashley fail to properly back Rafa Benitez, leading the manager to refuse to consider a contract extension unless things change.

That latest window easily the worst of all, the third window since returning to the Premier League and a £20m+ profit showing on deals in and out, whilst all of Newcastle’s rivals showed far more ambition.

Two weeks ago Rafa Benitez opened up a lot more than he had done previously when talking about his future, pointing towards the January 2019 window as Mike Ashley’s last chance to convince him to stay

Rafa Benitez:

“All the things that have happened during the summer have to be forgotten [and concentrate on the football now].

“Then we can talk about that [new contract], maybe, in April.

“We have plenty of time to talk.

“We have to concentrate [now] on what we can have an influence on, and that is the team and preparation for games, and whatever.

“We can talk about January and what is going on, but after January…

“Have we done what we had to do or not?

Then you have more answers to your questions [about my future].

“But I think now it’s too early.”

Monday morning has seen an update from the Chronicle about this January 2019 transfer window.

The local paper claiming Rafa Benitez wants a left-back, midfielder and striker.

It really is groundhog day, the same key positions where Rafa Benitez is left short, especially when it comes to spending money up front and signing a left-back who can challenge Paul Dummett and give us an option of one who can also get up the pitch and help the team to attack, especially against weaker teams.

The Chronicle say that they understand Rafa Benitez has held discussions with he head of recruitment Steve Nickson about possible signings in January BUT no news so far on Mike Ashley changing his backing for the manager, meaning loan deals might be once again the best Rafa can hope for.

The newspaper hope for some signs of positivity and wonder whether talking about the January window options now, might give some hope that Rafa could stay on in terms of it being longer-term planning.

However, going by this summer 2018 window that just passed, it indicated anything but long-term planning and hopes Rafa Benitez was planning to stay.

The window saw two loan signings (Rondon and Kenedy), two 29 year olds (Ki and Fernandez) on only two year contracts, whilst first team regular turns 32 next June when his current deal runs out and no sign of a new one offered as yet.

Without getting into the arguments of whether it was a positive or negative that they left, it has to be noted that Newcastle sold a 22 year old (Merino) and 23 year old (Mitrovic) for a combined £32m (which could eventually rise to £36m.

Players come and go all the time of course at any club but anybody looking from the outside wouldn’t have seen Newcastle’s summer trading as one that was looking to build towards the future. Instead it very much looked like the opposite, a short-term attempt to try and survive this season on a very limited budget.

You always hope for the best but fear the worst with Mike Ashley and it is very difficult to see great ambition being shown in January, and as for being able to forward plan, even if money was going to be available it is always hard to forecast who will be available in that mid-season window, as much always depends on how that first half of the season has gone for both teams and individual players.

Putting my positive head on, the very best I could see potentially happening in January (apart from Ashley leaving which would be very much the dream scenario above all others), would be maybe Rafa allowed to bring in a couple of better quality players on loan with a solid option to buy them next summer, with also Kenedy picking up form and some arrangement made for him to be a permanent buy.

Much no doubt will depend on the league position at the time but then last January Newcastle were right in the thick of relegation trouble yet Ashley refused to allow and players to be bought, so why would he see things any differently this time?

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  • mentalman

    we’ll only buy players if rafa signs a new contract, rafa will only sign a new contract if we buy players.

    If we go down or stay up and a new manager comes in the summer i think we’ll see quite a bit of money spent on new players

    • Kenny

      No you won’t the Fat Rat has no intention of laying out cash

    • Ron

      I agree the the “a bit of money” just wouldn’t have prefixed it with “quite” – £5m max.

      • mentalman

        its gone passed MA not wanting to invest, its a power play to show he is in charge not rafa. Rafa will leave in the summer and MA will spend money as a final insult

        • Ron

          Don’t think so, even if Rafa was daft enough to sign a new contract there would still only be minimal spending. When Rafa goes then a yes man will be put in place and again minimal spending.
          Ashley has lost what little interest he ever had, he’ll milk it as far as he can then either walk or liquidate us. Only hope is that someone will offer a sum that Ashley will accept, and go.

    • panther

      i dont

    • East Durham Mag

      What a very apt moniker you have. Truly mental.

    • Ruel Intentions

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…..

  • Steven05

    It’s all too late for me – mikeCancerASHley OUT

  • kingfisher

    How many times are fans,pundits media etc going to say that ” the next transfer window is make or break,the last chance saloon,will Ashley change his business model and back Rafa” blah,blah,blah before they all realise that he is NEVER EVER going to treat Newcastle United Football Club ,the fans and the Manager with respect and act as you would expect any responsible owner to.Any others who think differently (50,000 ?) are sadly deluded.
    I’ve said this before, ” fool us,disrespect us and lie to us once,shame on you Mike Ashley.Fool us,disrespect us and lie to us twice,shame on us !

  • Billmag

    It’s the same old scenario with fatty if we are in the relegation zone he will spend money if not he won’t spend anything, just go back to when we finished 5th what did we spend to improve the team after that, £5m on Anita which very nearly led to yet another relegation.

  • SuperDesHamilton

    It’s too far gone for me, nothing fatty could do will stop the rot that’s infested the club under his dictatorship

    • Peaky

      Same here….gone past the point of no return.

    • Sickandtired

      We should rename him. Rigsby, he of rising damp…

  • panther

    whats the point? Ashley will pretend hes changed till the contracts signed then another 3 years of nothing but dismantling

  • Paul Patterson

    If we are still where we are in the league in January there will suddenly be emergency funds available to try and get us out of the clarts, much like last Jan when Kenedy, Dubravka and Slimani came in on loan.
    If we pull away and find ourselves in mid table then there will be nowt and possibly a player sold.
    Repeat and repeat and repeat . .

    • Jezza

      If and when we are in trouble in January I still don’t think there will be any money to spend. Ashley is certain to repeat the January loan strategy that luckily saved us last season.

  • Wezza

    There is no last chance saloon, MA will not change, he will not back Rafa and he will continue to take hundreds of millions from the club.

  • AhDivvinNahNootMe

    We are not a football club we are a billboard, when the poles get rusty or the wood is rotten we will buy the cheapest paint possible and paint over it as best we can……until we can’t. That’s our business model, stop self harming with delusions of false hope.

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      We are basically another business in this mans portfolio which takes no priority in his life.
      He puts other interests before the club that a city of people love and he probably has more love for Lonsdale or Lillywhites than us !

  • wheyayeman

    I’m growing to loath the very club I once passionately supported, such is the corrosive atmousphere and total despair brought about by Ashley. The club I once loved is now a memory.

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      Sadly, That is the situation you get at Newcastle these days with more and more deciding to cut ties with the club.
      A lot of lads I know have done the same with most now following non league clubs.
      In the cold light of day that is what needs to be done where Ashley has to be left to it with apathy from the fans killing of his regime and tenure of the club.

      • Stephen Paylor

        I tried a while ago to get enough if us to create our own club and start non league. It got nowhere, too many just like to complain and forget that power is always with the people if they stick together. Geordie FC

    • Dave Pattinson

      Sadly mate, I know exactly how u feel. After 44 yrs having a season tkt and 8 yrs before that, I came to the conclusion that the club wasn’t ours any longer so decided against renewal. Everything good about the club since Ashley got his hands on it has gone. We’ve become part of his shabby empire of tat. Once we were peoples 2nd favourite club, when our games were televised, the pubs were full. How things have changed! With Wonga & S**te Direct adverts plastered everywhere and now with us needing to play a less-than-adventurous style of football because our owner restricts finances for his manager, we’re probably everyones most despised club. Thanks Ashley, will be back when you’ve gone back home! Hopefully very soon.

  • Big Hairy Man

    The only way Ashley will spend in January will be out of desperation. Not to improve the team but to maintain the status quo and keep the TV money rolling in and his free advertising (which he promised to pay for but lied as usual). It is probably too late to salvage any trust and Rafa will go in the summer regardless of whether or not Ashley provides enough funds to stave off relegation. Who will replace him is anyone’s guess but after Rafa has been royally shafted over 4 transfer windows no manager with a shred of self-respect or indeed ambition would work under Ashley. Cue Pardew.

    • Carverlier football

      Absolutely right. We could go out and spend £30m in January and only the very naive would see it as evidence of a change in ambition – it would purely because we were in the clarts, or because MA had belatedly realised that the clarts are just around the corner if Rafa goes. If we stayed up and/or Rafa signs a new contract it would simply be back to business as usual in the summer. I don’t think Rafa’s stupid enough to be swayed by last minute desperation and sadly I think only a change of ownership would keep him here now

      • Ron

        Agreed Rafa is far to astute to fall foe such BS.

    • mentalman

      rafa was attracted by the salary and if it’s still on offer others will to knowing what they are getting themselves in to

      • Big Hairy Man

        Not if they have any dignity.

        • mentalman

          dignity all depends on how many zeros’ there are on the salary, they also know that they are largely immune from condemnation by the fans.

      • SuperDesHamilton

        How was he attracted to the salary when he approached the club first you burk? Is he physic?

        He’s well paid but let’s not pretend most managers aren’t. He’ll walk into another club with ambition on the same contract next season no problem.

        This no contract no money thing is another exercise in Bishop PR to try save face. People like you eat up

  • Ashley-out

    just die you fat [email protected]

  • Kenny

    he looks on Rafa as a threat & not a manger that can take Newcastle to a new level because that is not what he wants, expect another dikhead to be here next summer followed by another relegation.

  • mactoon

    I doubt Rondon, Slimani and Joselu were Rafa’s first choices, more like what we could afford because of the lack of funds released. Kenedy on loan twice because we won’t stump up the money to buy him and Yueng (on a free) and Muto were probably bought more for potential shirt sales abroad than improving the first team. I don’t see that as backing your manager.

    Looking ahead to January, does anyone really believe Ashley will now miraculously release funds for a manager to spend when all he sees is a manager who won’t sign a new contract and could just walk away leaving the club with his new signings eating away at the wage bill?

  • xalenasaleh

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    C︈o︈m︈e︈ h︈er︈e︈︈: ̩▶️ z︈a︈i︈m︈s︈p︈b︈︈.︈o︈r︈g︈/︈p︈︈h︈o︈t︈o︈︈-︈7︈6︈9︈8︈7︈0

    • uartemkaad

      ︈L︈O︈L ︈Th︈a︈n︈k︈s S︈w︈e︈e︈t︈︈!︈! I︈ f︈o︈u︈n︈︈d th︈e︈r︈︈e︈e︈ m︈y ︈T︈eac︈h︈︈e︈r︈ N︈a︈a︈k︈︈e︈d︈! ︈mw︈aa︈h︈h︈a︈a︈h

      • ranuta20ue

        ︈H︈a︈a︈h︈a︈a︈h︈h l︈u︈c︈ky d︈u︈u︈de︈

      • Big Hairy Man


    • Big Hairy Man

      [email protected]@k 0ff you kn0b

  • Jewell Ahmed

    “apart from Ashley leaving which would be very much the dream scenario above all others”

    That would be a very good scenario. The dream scenario would be Ashley’s helicopter crashing out of the sky with him being the only casualty.