Rafa Benitez now knows his January transfer budget.
The Chronicle reporting on Thursday that the Newcastle manager had been ‘informed’ of what he has (hasn’t??) got available to spend in the next transfer window.
The newspaper says that Rafa once again will have a ‘tiny’ budget and that he has told the club’s scouting team to try and ‘find low budget transactions’ that Newcastle will be able to afford with their January transfer budget.
So Newcastle United are in trouble because of not spending realistic amounts in the three transfer windows since promotion and the cure for that is going to be Mike Ashley repeating what has gone before.
Newcastle are desperately in need of better quality, especially in terms of creating and scoring goals, and ‘low budget transactions’ is the answer….?
We are being played for fools here, both Rafa Benitez and Newcastle fans.
It is as though we are all incapable of remembering what happened a few months ago, or nine months ago.
Last January, Sky Sports carried the story (see below) that Mike Ashley was prepared to back Rafa with a mystery £20m striker.
Not one player was bought despite various claims of £12m-£16m offers made for Nicolai Jorgensen of Feyenoord.
Fast forward to summer 2018 and Mitro is sold for £22m (rising to £27m) and yet we can’t even buy Salomon Rondon, instead it is a £2m loan with Gayle having to go the other way.
Fast forward further to the September 2018 Fans forum minutes (see below) and we are told the club tried their very best and were prepared to pay far more than the £16.8m club transfer record fee for various Rafa targets, yet none were bought.
So how do we approach January 2019 with only a pittance available?
Where is the £20m that was ‘available’ to buy a striker in January 2018?
Where are the funds that could have bought a number of record breaking targets in summer 2018?
The numbers just don’t add up.
The Chronicle yesterday (Thursday 18 October 2018):
‘Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez informed of January transfer budget
The Magpies did not splash out in the summer window and Rafa Benitez is already cutting his cloth accordingly ahead of the January window
Rafa Benitez will be shopping in the bargain basement again when the January window opens for business.
European loans will be one of the most realistic options this winter when it comes to bringing in quality senior players.
In the early part of the year Benitez ploughed the tiny January budget he was afforded into loan fees for Kenedy and Martin Dubravka.
The ex-Liverpool chief is now braced to do something similar in early 2019.
The club’s routine transfer meeting – which took place after the home defeat against Leicester City – resulted in Benitez making it clear that club scouts must dig deep to find low budget transactions in the next few months.’
Newcastle United Fans Forum minutes from Monday 24 September 2018 meeting (published 11 days later):
‘The club explained that several more players were pursued, some of which were well above and beyond the club’s current transfer record. For a number of reasons, the deals were not possible despite the money being available for these players.
The club explained the challenges of the transfer window and stated that several clubs simply did not want to sell their players, or that the players did not want to make the move.
The club discussed a number of other striking options <names withheld from Fans Forum minutes>, some of which were well above and beyond the club’s current transfer record…
Discussions with the manager are on-going (for the January window). The club would ideally like to secure exciting, high-quality young players who can make a difference, rather than focussing on quantity of players.
The club confirmed that there was money available for the right players (in the summer). Players have to benefit the club not only in the short term, but also the medium-to-long term.
The club explained that signing a player now is rarely straightforward for any club, with various parties needing to be satisfied before a deal is concluded.
The club also explained that it would be easy to pay sometimes highly-inflated initial fees quoted by clubs but there is a responsibility with the club’s long-term health in mind to spend intelligently.
Another consideration is the club’s wage structure, which can impact heavily on the dressing room. When players come in, the club tries to keep salaries within that structure.
The club explained that while people refer to an extra £10,000 or £15,000 a week to secure a deal, this can create an imbalance in the dressing room, and can mean a difference of millions of pounds to the budget.’