Benitez eyes more transfer business before deadline

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez
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Rafa Benitez is hoping to push through more transfer business in the final days of the transfer window – as West Ham United eye him as a potential successor to Slaven Bilic.

Newcastle United beat Bilic’s side 3-0 at St James’s Park on Saturday.

The result could see Bilic dismissed, and Benitez – who came close to taking over at the London club two years ago – is still highly regarded by West Ham.

Benitez – who hasn’t spoken to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley since May – is unhappy at the club’s efforts in this summer transfer window, which closes on Thursday night.

However, Benitez will not resign from his post – and Ashley won’t sack him.

And the only way he could conceivably leave Newcastle this season would be if another Premier League club pays his sizeable release clause.

Only then would Benitez – who spoken about his transfer frustration in recent weeks – have to make a decision to make on his future.

For the moment, the 57-year-old – who still has a good relationship with West Ham co-owner David Sullivan – is focused on moving players in and out of the club.

“We have an idea of what we need and what we want,” said Newcastle’s manager.

“We have some names and we have some targets, and we are trying to do that business.

“Maybe any club will have a player available that you are not expecting to come onto the market. At the moment, we know what we need.”

Newcastle have spent more than £35million on six players so far this summer.

And Benitez – who was promised “every last penny” generated from promotion and player sales by Ashley at the end of last season – needs to move more players out of the club to free up funds for further investment.

Emmanuel Riviere joined Metz last week, and Siem de Jong, Achraf Lazaar, Jack Colback, Grant Hanley and Tim Krul could all leave on loan – or on permanent deals – between now and the transfer deadline.

A report yesterday claimed Dwight Gayle could even be sold by Newcastle.