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Rafa Benitez warns Mike Ashley to keep transfer promise

by 17/07/2017 18:58:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Mike Ashley said Benitez could have ‘every penny the club generates’ to invest
  • The Spaniard could have quit the club for a mega-money deal in China
  • Benitez is frustrated that progress on transfers has been slow so far

By Craig Hope for the Daily Mail

Published: 17:31 EDT, 17 July 2017 | Updated: 18:58 EDT, 17 July 2017

Rafa Benitez has urged Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to keep his promise on transfer funds —reminding him that he could have quit the club for a mega-money deal in China.

The Spaniard agreed to stay on as boss at the end of last season after a meeting in which Ashley said he could have ‘every last penny the club generates’ to invest in his squad.

But Benitez is frustrated that progress on transfers has been slow — Norwich winger Jacob Murphy will become their third signing at £12.5million this week — and he has now put pressure on Ashley. 

Rafa Benitez has urged Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to keep his promise on transfer funds
Rafa Benitez has urged Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to keep his promise on transfer funds

Rafa Benitez has urged Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to keep his promise on transfer funds

Ashley said he could have ‘every last penny the club generates’ to invest in his squad
Ashley said he could have ‘every last penny the club generates’ to invest in his squad

Ashley said he could have ‘every last penny the club generates’ to invest in his squad

‘When I had the meeting with Mike Ashley I was confident that we have the money available and the wages,’ said Benitez at the team’s Carton House training base here in County Kildare.

‘Everything is in place to move forward. Hopefully Mike can keep his word and we can do what we want to do.

‘In January we didn’t sign players but we had £30m ready for the future, so now we are in a situation where we are going slowly but I still have confidence that everything will be fine after my meeting with Mike.

‘He said that he would give us every last penny so hopefully he will do it and I’m confident that he will.’ 

Benitez looks on during the Newcastle United training session on Monday morning 
Benitez looks on during the Newcastle United training session on Monday morning 

Benitez looks on during the Newcastle United training session on Monday morning 

Newcastle players warm up during the session at Carton House in Maynooth, Ireland
Newcastle players warm up during the session at Carton House in Maynooth, Ireland

Newcastle players warm up during the session at Carton House in Maynooth, Ireland

Jonjo Shelvey was all smiles ahead of Saturday's game against Preston North End
Jonjo Shelvey was all smiles ahead of Saturday's game against Preston North End

Jonjo Shelvey was all smiles ahead of Saturday's game against Preston North End

Benitez reminded Ashley: ‘I could go away and make some money. If you go to China you can make a lot of money.

‘The priority for me was to stay. I decided to stay because of the fans, the club, the possibilities for the future and to stay in England close to my family. 

‘Then the meeting was crucial to convince me to stay. Mike told me “We have this money, it is available, it’s OK”, so, fine, we were happy with that.’

Benitez is angry that deals for Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham and Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero were not completed before interest emerged from elsewhere. The pair have since joined Swansea and Chelsea respectively. 

Dwight Gayle (2nd right) is closed down by Jack Colback, Jesus Gamez and Jamaal Lascelles
Dwight Gayle (2nd right) is closed down by Jack Colback, Jesus Gamez and Jamaal Lascelles

Dwight Gayle (2nd right) is closed down by Jack Colback, Jesus Gamez and Jamaal Lascelles

Jamaal Lascelles (right) looks to intercept the ball during a practice match
Jamaal Lascelles (right) looks to intercept the ball during a practice match

Jamaal Lascelles (right) looks to intercept the ball during a practice match

There is concern that deals are taking too long to finalise.

And Benitez was quick to bring the conversation back to Ashley, adding: ‘I still have confidence that he will keep his word. We have the resources to do what we wanted and now we have to do it.

‘I asked if I can spend all the money on one player or if I must spend it on many players. Mike said the budget is mine and I can do what I want with the numbers he has given me. It is the same with wages.

‘We still have time to buy players until the end of next month and I am confident we will.’

Ciaran Clark looks to pass the ball as Newcastle stepped up their pre-season preparations
Ciaran Clark looks to pass the ball as Newcastle stepped up their pre-season preparations

Ciaran Clark looks to pass the ball as Newcastle stepped up their pre-season preparations

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