'We have too many players now' - Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez admits the need to trim his Magpies squad

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez
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Rafa Benitez says he has too many players at Newcastle United – and needs to trim his squad.

Benitez's side were held to a 1-1 draw by Preston North End this afternoon.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was on target for Newcastle at Deepdale, where new signings Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo made their debuts.

But Mitrovic could yet leave United this summer.

A number of players face uncertain futures at the club, with manager Benitez needing a Premier League squad of 25 players.

The primary focus, however, is incoming signings.

Asked if the club was close to a breakthrough in the transfer market, United's manager said: "Hopefully, we’re close to making signings, but I don’t know. We will have to wait and see.

“We (he and the club's hierarchy) are in contact all the time. We still have time."

Daryl Murphy yesterday joined Nottingham Forest, and more players will follow the striker out of the door this summer.

"We have too many players now, so not all of these players can have a future at the club," said Benitez.

"We have too many now and we need 25 players. I I don’t know about those leaving, because it depends on other clubs, but we continue to monitor every situation."

On the Preston game, Benitez said: "The fitness is quite important. You can see that they were a little bit more sharp.

"Still, the understanding between players and the tactical work, we have to improve."