December 9, 2019, 4:39

Rafael Benitez: I don’t know how much I have to spend in transfer window

Rafael Benitez: I don’t know how much I have to spend in transfer window

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is hoping for clarity over his chances of launching a January recruitment drive within days.

With the club in a state of flux amid takeover talks and the winter transfer window fast approaching, the manager is yet to be given an indication of what he may or may not have to spend as he attempts to strengthen his squad.

As he prepared for tomorrow night’s Premier League clash with Everton, Benitez said: “It is always helpful if you have information. Hopefully after the Everton game and a win we will have good news and everybody will be happy.

“It is important to know because we are working really hard with the scouts. We have a lot of names, but we do not know exactly how much we have.

“I was asking [managing director] Lee Charnley the other day and I am waiting for an answer in a few days.”

Benitez has always been confident he can keep the club in the top flight even if he is not able to bolster a squad which was left some way short of what he had hoped for in the summer.

However, his need is all the more pressing with the Magpies having lost six of their last seven games heading into the showdown with Sam Allardyce’s improving side.

Asked if he needed to add experience after a bruising few weeks, Benitez said: “You just have to see the age of our squad. Some games, we are the youngest in the Premier League.

“But how can you get more experience? In time by winning and playing games. We have to learn quickly, but these players are working very hard and they will improve.

“We started really well and people were thinking we were going to stay at the top of the table, but it is a young team that has to learn.”

Benitez will welcome the Toffees to St James’ Park with the same men who saw a point snatched from their grasp at the death against Leicester on Saturday evening courtesy of Ayoze Perez’s 86th-minute own goal.

Full-back Paul Dummett is close to a return from a hamstring injury which has sidelined him since the opening day of the season and although he played an hour for the Under-23s on Friday, the game is likely to come too soon for him.


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