Newcastle United boss looks to make early signings for the Premier League – after agreeing to stay

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez. Picture by Frank Reid
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez. Picture by Frank Reid

Rafa Benitez is looking to get Newcastle United’s summer transfer business done early after agreeing to stay at St James’s Park.

Benitez yesterday reaffirmed his commitment to the Championship winners after talks with owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley.

The Mags’ manager has been promised “every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means” by Ashley.

And that means Benitez could have the best part of £100million to spend on Premier League-quality players in the summer transfer window if, as expected, a clutch of players are sold.

Ashley is understood to want the club to do as much business as possible early in the window.

Benitez has already identified a number of potential targets, and Charnley has been doing groundwork on proposed deals in readiness for the summer.

“I’m pleased with how the meeting went and the positive approach we are all taking together to build on what we have started this season,” said Benitez.

“There will be challenges ahead of course – the summer will not be easy.

“But the hard work has been going on for some time, and we can now continue positively with the development of the squad ahead of the start of the new season. I wish fans an enjoyable summer.”

Benitez and Charnley were taken to their meeting with Ashley – who was at St James’s Park to see the club win the Championship on Sunday – by helicopter on Tuesday.

A club statement read: “Newcastle United can confirm that a meeting has taken place between the club’s owner, Mike Ashley, managing director Lee Charnley, and manager Rafa Benitez.

“It was agreed by all parties that the meeting was very positive and constructive.

“Mike again congratulated Rafa and his team on gaining promotion to the Premier League as champions.

“Plans for next season were discussed, including the purchase and loan of players to add to the squad in readiness for the Premier League season.”

United are set to benefit from the Premier League’s multi-billion pound TV deal.

And Ashley said: “I’ve confirmed to Rafa and Lee that they can have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season.”

The club statement made no mention of the future role of chief scout Graham Carr.

Carr oversaw the incomings and outgoings before Benitez’s arrival at St James’s Park last year.