Rafa Benitez is desperate to “lift” his Newcastle United squad with some new signings now the transfer window has opened.
Benitez’s side kick of the New Year with a game against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium this afternoon.
Newcastle, held to a goalless draw at home by Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, have taken just five points from their last 12 Premier League games.
And Benitez is looking to strengthen a number of positions in this month’s transfer window.
United’s manager refused to discuss the window ahead of the Brighton game.
However, Benitez again acknowledged the need to strengthen his squad after the fixture.
“Obviously, this group can push and carry on, and it will be difficult,” said Benitez.
“But if we bring some players, it always could be a lift. It doesn’t mean it could be easier.”
Benitez is looking closely at the loan market.
Chelsea winger Kenedy and Liverpool striker Danny Ings are two targets.
Benitez – who spoke to owner Mike Ashley last month – identified a number of players ahead of the window. However, Ashley, on holiday with his family, is yet to give a clear indication of how much Benitez can spend this month.
Meanwhile, Benitez has reacted to speculation linking West Ham United manager David Moyes with a move for Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.
Benitez said: “If we don’t bring in players, it will be very difficult to lose players, even if they are not happy.
“They still have to keep working and try to give them best for this team.”
Romford-born Shelvey, signed from Swansea City for £12million two years ago, is a boyhood West Ham fan.