Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez believes the club may have to sell to raise funds for their remaining transfer dealings.
Benitez has so far completed three signings over the course of the summer transfer window, and two of those are players who were on loan at St James’ Park last season.
Chelsea midfielder Kenedy has joined up with the Magpies for another season in the North East, and Martin Dubravka’s loan deal from Sparta Prague was turned into a £4m permanent transfer. Ki Sung-yeung is the one new face, joining on a free transfer from Swansea City, who were relegated to the Championship.
The lack of spending might appear to some fans to contradict Mike Ashley’s statement in May that, ‘I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.’
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It would be harsh treatment for Benitez given his achievements last season. Newcastle finished 10th despite operating on a similarly restricted budget, and without further investment they might find such an impressive showing close to impossible.
Other clubs who have been promoted or who were involved in a relegation battle last season have been spending more heavily. Wolves have spent £44m and brought in Portuguese international goalkeeper in on a free transfer. Felipe Anderson has just arrived for £36m at West Ham, and Fulham have signed Jean-Michael Seri from Nice.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Benitez acknowledged the club are in a difficult situation:
“Unfortunately it’s what we have to do.
“We have to wheel and deal, that is the way for us. And then we try to continue doing the right things.
“As soon as the price goes a little bit higher, I know that we cannot buy them, so we have to be realistic with our budget.”
Benitez was also asked if he would have to sell players in order to find funds for any more new faces, and said it is a possibility:
“Yeah, maybe. I think it’s normal for us now to think it will be like that.”