Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rafa's Last-Gasp Transfer Discussion; Benitez Has a Last-Gasp Telephone Call with Ashley - as Window about to Close

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rafa's Last-Gasp Transfer Discussion; Benitez Has a Last-Gasp Telephone Call with Ashley - as Window about to Close

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh Sports Writer @CHRISDHWAUGH

RAFA Benitez and Mike Ashley have held a last-gasp phone conversation in a desperate bid to salvage Newcastle United's wretched January transfer window.

The Magpies manager and the Sports Direct businessman spoke yesterday morning as Benitez tried to stress the gravity of the situation to Ashley.

Newcastle were pipped to the loan signing of Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge on Monday, while United also failed to lure top target Nicolai Jorgensen to Tyneside as they failed to match Feyenoord's PS20million valuation.

It means the Magpies are yet to sign a forward this month.

Kenedy, who eventually completed a protracted loan move last week, is United's only January signing to far and, with less than 24 hours left in the window, Benitez has once again made clear to Ashley that further additions must arrive if United are to ensure they retain their Premier League status.

But Newcastle have just about exhausted their initial list of January targets, with the Magpies now frantically scouring Europe for a striker who they believe can bring goals to a side who have managed just 22 in 24 Premier League games. The Magpies host Burnley at St James' Park in a crucial Premier League clash this evening, while the deadline for the January window is also at 11pm. "We were talking about different options [in the transfer market], that's it," Benitez said of his conversation with ashley during yesterday's Press conference ahead of tonight's Premier League clash with Burnley. "We have been talking about everything. It has been one month with our targets, so we had plenty of targets to talk about. "We have to do something before the end and then that's it. "Obviously everybody would like to see players early, but they are not here so we will try to do something in one day. "any player, if it's a good player, will make an impact and bring something." Earlier this month Benitez claimed that ashley had given him the "green light" to make signings, but only Kenedy has arrived since. asked if he was more positive about United's chances of recruiting further additions after his latest conversation with ashley, Benitez said rather pointedly: "Similar [to before]. …

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