Rafa Benitez is becoming increasingly impatient at Newcastle United – but he’s not about to quit the club.
The Tynesiders have only signed one player – Christian Atsu – so far this summer.
And Benitez is frustrated at what he feels is a lack of progress in the transfer market.
There is also unease on Tyneside at the Magpies’ stalled recruitment drive.
A report yesterday claimed that the former Liverpool manager was “serious” about a threat to walk out of St James’s Park before the new Premier League campaign starts.
Newcastle have made no comment on speculation surrounding Benitez’s future over the past week.
However, managing director Lee Charnley is understood to still be confident that he can get Benitez the players he feels he needs for the new campaign, which starts on August 12.
Club sources also insist that Charnley and Benitez are working closely on targets.
If Benitez were to walk out, it could prove a costly move.
It is understood that Benitez – who guided Newcastle to the Championship title last season – would have to pay the club a significant sum if he broke the contract he signed last summer.
Benitez will welcome his players back for the start of pre-season training on Monday.
The 56-year-old had hoped there would be several new players reporting to the club’s Benton training ground for the start of pre-season.
One potential target is former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lewis Holtby, now at Hamburg.
The 26-year-old has one year left on his contract and the Bundesliga club are willing to sell him this summer.
Newcastle have considered a move for Holtby, but the club, as yet, has not made a bid.