Rafa Benitez reacts to fresh takeover update at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez reiterated his need to know his transfer budget after Amanda Staveley's takeover moved a step closer.

Thursday, 14th December 2017, 1:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th December 2017, 1:20 pm
Rafa Benitez

Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners have tabled a fresh £300million offer for Newcastle United.

And a deal is understood to be close between Middle East-based financier Staveley and billionaire owner Mike Ashley, who put the club up for sale in October.

Rafa Benitez

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With the Premier League needing 30 days to ratify a takeover, the proposed sale is unlikely to be completed before the January transfer window closes.

Ashley, however, is prepared to give Benitez funds to strengthen his squad – if he will be reimbursed once Staveley takes over.

Benitez, keen to strengthen his squad in the window, was asked about the takeover after last night’s 1-0 home defeat to Everton.

Newcastle – who are away to Arsenal on Saturday – are now just one point above the relegation zone after losing seven of their last eight games.

Rafa Benitez

United manager Benitez said: “I don’t have any information.

“What I said the other day was that I need to know how much money for January as soon as possible.

“That’s it. But I don’t have any information.”

Everton manager Sam Allardyce, sacked by Ashley as Newcastle manager in January 2008, said: “There’s a lot of people come to make money in the Premier League.

“Everybody wants investment. This club (Everton) has had a huge boost. It’s a great club and it has a big history and is spending more money than it has for many years.

“If Newcastle gets a new owner, Rafa has a very track record of being successful and spending money very well.”

Newcastle struck the woodwork twice in the first half.

Wayne Rooney scored the only goal of the game after goalkeeper Karl Darlow spilled a header from Aaron Lennon.

Benitez said: “The team started the game well. We had chances.

“We were on top of them. Then we made a mistake and started suffered a little bit.

“The way they were wasting time ... we needed some experience to manage this situation.

“We had the crossbar and the post. We were a little bit unlucky, but still we made these mistakes.

“We have to be sure that the players are not down for too long.”

Asked to elaborate on Everton’s “time wasting”, Benitez added: “It doesn’t change anything.

“You have seen the same thing that we were watching.”

Rooney’s goal was his 15th against Newcastle.

“It was a tough game,” said Rooney.

“We’ve come here, and, although Newcastle haven’t been on a great run of form, it’s always a difficult game, especially when you’re looking to pick up three points.

“We dug in, defended really well and made the most of the chances we had.

“We’re delighted, and it’s a great win for us. I’ve scored quite a few goals here – it’s a ground I enjoy playing at.

“Thankfully, it’s got us three points. We know it’s a difficult period coming on, the Christmas period is always difficult.”