Rafa Benitez locked in transfer stand-off with Mike Ashley - report

Newcastle United's hopes of having a successful January have been hit by a transfer "stand-off", according to a report.

Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 10:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 10:15 am
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez is reportedly at loggerheads with chiefs over the transfer window as he looks to add to his squad.

The Sun claim that Benitez has been told to trim his squad before he can sign anyone in this month's transfer window.

However, United's manager – who has been looking at the loan market – is reluctant to sell anyone before a replacement is secured.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

West Ham United have been linked with midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, though Benitez said after the FA Cup win over Luton Town that the chances of teams fighting relegation doing business with each other was unlikely.

Meanwhile, a report in France has claimed that Bordeaux want striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Benitez is prepared to sell some players, though he would rather buy before he sells. He wants to move out a small number of fringe players, notably midfielder Jack Colback, who was linked with a return to Sunderland.

Benitez, mindful of the sensitivity of owner Mike Ashley to some of his comments about transfers, has toned down his rhetoric over the past fortnight. The 57-year-old has been reluctant to discuss the window in his last couple of pre-match press conferences.

Last week he said he hoped to learn his transfer budget "sooner rather than later".