Newcastle fans will be delighted that their side are well in contention to extend their stay in the Premier League to a second season, but will remain concerned by the prospect of relegation this semester.
The Magpies lie just two points clear of the bottom three, and fans here in The Transfer Tavern are casting a watchful eye behind at the club’s relegation rivals. Changes are expected at the club this month, with many hoping to see boss Rafa Benitez stretch his muscles in the January transfer window to ensure his side are prepared to stave off the threat of relegation over the course of the second half of the season.
Reports have emerged today in The Sun however suggesting the Spaniard must sell before he can buy, but amidst interest in his star men, including West Ham United’s interest in Jonjo Shelvey, The Mirror reports that Benitez has insisted he will not sell to his relegation rivals this month. The news will come as a relief to Magpies fans, with fears that a £20 million move to the East London side may be sanctioned by the club in the coming weeks.
Brighton are also reported to be keen on Aleksandar Mitrovic, but Benitez’s admission would rule the Seagulls out of the running for the Serbian striker.
Landlord’s Verdict: Newcastle fans must have been concerned to hear reports that Shelvey could be on his way to West Ham, but Benitez has done well to allay fears with his insistence that no relegation rival will poach his players.
However many will wonder where funds will come from if the former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss is to strengthen his squad, following reports that he must sell before he can buy. Benitez will be an extremely busy man this month as he attempts to find presumably foreign clubs for his unwanted men, and acquire the funds to improve his squad ahead of what is set to be a tense relegation battle.
Newcastle fans, do you agree with Benitez’s refusal to sell to West Ham? Let us know!