Benitez sets Newcastle transfer deadline

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has set owner Mike Ashley a deadline of January 20 to secure the club’s much-needed new signings.

A run of eight defeats in the last nine games has seen Newcastle plummet down the Premier League table to 18th spot, with Benitez desperate for reinforcements in the transfer window.

Ashley is in the midst of takeover talks with Dubai-based businesswoman Amanda Staveley, but while the negotiations continue, Benitez says the club needs signings early in the window to secure its Premier League future.

“We have to do things as quick as possible,” said Benitez.

“I have the belief and confidence that Mike Ashley, by January 15 to 20, will have everything done. I have confidence that he will do it.”

Reports in the UK press have suggested that Newcastle have already agreed a loan deal for Chelsea winger Kenedy, yet Benitez denied that any moves were finalised.

“No, in terms of the transfer window we don’t have any agreement with anyone. At the moment we are progressing trying to be closer but I don’t know the budget that I have,” he added.

“In terms of names in the press, some of them are impossible for us, so the reality is that we have to understand that we have to keep focused on football.”

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