Rafa Benitez may raid Championship rivals for Newcastle signings

Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United could recruit from Championship rivals ahead of next season.

Thursday, 26th May 2016, 2:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2016, 4:58 pm
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez

Benitez is identifying transfer targets after agreeing to stay on at the relegated club.

And Benitez – who has been given full control over incomings and outgoings – has an open mind as to the division from which new signings will be recruited.

Newcastle, linked with Fulham striker Ross McCormack, will look at players who can bring Championship experience to the squad.

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Asked what type of players the club would look at, Benitez said: “Good players. That means good players for us.

“That means maybe it will be a Premier League player, maybe it will be a Championship player, because you need experience and character.

“Maybe it’s a young player with quality. I will not say that we will just bring this kind of player.

“We can bring anyone if it’s good enough for us.”

Meanwhile, Benitez says he won’t have a problem making the transition from the Bernabeu to Burton Albion.

The 56-year-old started last season at Real Madrid, whose home is the 81,044-capacity Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Newcastle will be visiting some less glamorous grounds next term, including Burton’s 6,912-capacity Pirelli Stadium home, in English football’s less glamorous second tier.

Benitez, appointed in March, has never managed in the division, though he has managed in Spain’s lower divisions.

And the hugely-experienced manager feels he and his players can quickly adjust to the demands of the Championship following the club’s painful relegation from the Premier League.

Asked if he intended to speak to people about the Championship, he said: “Obviously, I know that some people will say that, but still I was starting in the second division, or in the youth teams, in Spain, then the second division in Spain and two promotions.

“Then we played the teams here in the FA Cup, the Capital One Cup, so we know the league. We have seen a lot of games, and we have some players who have played in the Championship before.

“If we win the first game, then you will say we have a good team. But that is football. I think we have enough information.”