Rafa Benitez has gone back to his old club Liverpool to ask about two players.
The Newcastle boss left Anfield eight years ago but still has a very good relationship with his old club and The Chronicle say that Rafa has asked about the situation regarding two of their attacking players ahead of what could be a crucial January transfer window.
The newspaper says the two players in question are Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke.
It is not the first time Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United have been linked with the pair, back in summer 2017 it was claimed that NUFC were trying to sign both of them after winning promotion back to the Premier League.
Matters are slightly more complicated this January than 12 months earlier.
Back in January 2018, Newcastle United had no loan players and were able to bring in Martin Dubravka, Islam Slimani and Kenedy.
The rules (see below) state that only two players at any one time can be loaned by Premier League clubs from other English clubs, so whilst Kenedy and Slimani were brought in from Chelsea and Leicester respectively, this time Newcastle already have Rondon and Kenedy on year-long loan deals from West Brom and Chelsea respectively.
So unless either of those loans were cut short, or were changed to permanent deals, only loan signings from abroad will be available for Rafa Benitez in January.
As things stand, any signing of Origi and/or Solanke would have to be on a permanent basis.
It is difficult to see Liverpool being desperate to hold on to either player, as neither has appeared in the first team this season in any competition, whilst they haven’t even made the bench in the Premier League so far.
Mike Ashley didn’t allow any players to be bought last January, or indeed in January 2017, and not many Newcastle fans will believe things will be much different this time.
In the recent Newcastle United Fans Forum meeting minutes, the club bizarrely claimed that they had been willing to go way above the current £16.8m transfer record on various transfer targets but said they couldn’t find any of these players that were willing to sign.
Then hidden away elsewhere in the minutes, the club admitted that after failing to land Rafa Benitez’ transfer targets, Mike Ashley had taken an amount of money out of the club after the summer transfer window closed, though refused to reveal how much that figure was.
The Official Premier League rules state:
Premier League clubs may not register more than two players on loan (from other English clubs) at any one time.
The maximum number of loans (from other English clubs) registrable in the same season is four, and, under no circumstances, shall more than one be from the same club at any one time.