Transfers and Newcastle aren’t two words that have frequently been used in the same sentence over the last few years, with the club, under Mike Ashley, rarely opting to spend big to land fresh talent.
Of course, the reality is that in the modern game, clubs simply cannot be sustainable without proper investment, and perhaps that’s why a few new players were brought in over the course of the January transfer window, namely in the form of Miguel Almiron.
It will be interesting to see whether that investment continues into the summer, and Newcastle expert Lee Ryder has offered a bit of an insight into whether that will be the case or not.
Taking part in a Q&A for the Chronicle (Live Blog, 20th Feb, 14:30), Ryder was asked about summer plans at Newcastle, and he had the following to say: ‘Even if Rafa Benitez decides to sign the contract that doesn’t have all the assurances, I know he wants to sign at least four or five new faces to freshen up the squad for next season’s challenge.’
This is, obviously, exciting, as it means that if Benitez does stay, he has big plans for the future of the club.
However, with the club seemingly refusing to guarantee new signings in any contract at present, Benitez’s hopes mean little in the context of our summer plans.
As often seems to be the case at Newcastle, good news comes, but it’s often met with bad news all the while. We may be interested in a player, but he might fail a medical. We may bid for a player, but it may be well below the asking price. Benitez may have big plans for the squad – but Newcastle are refusing to guarantee anything of the sort.
Of course, anything could happen between now and the end of the season, and if Benitez does stay, maybe a compromise will be reached. Until then, though, it’s just a case of waiting.