Newcastle United supporters have been pretty buoyant in the Transfer Tavern in the last few weeks following their team’s solid recent form in the Premier League, which has moved them five points clear of the bottom three.
Rafa Benitez’s men were just two points above the relegation zone following their 3-1 defeat to champions-elect Manchester City back on January 20, but they have since then lost just one of their succeeding six matches to put some distance between themselves and danger. The Magpies produced an excellent display to beat Manchester United 1-0 at St James’ Park last month, before backing that up with a crucial 3-0 success over fellow strugglers Southampton in their last league outing, a result which moved them up to 13th place in the table, five points clear of the relegation places.
Subsequently, there have been many happy and optimistic Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, and they are likely to be further interested by a recent report from The Daily Telegraph, which details the staggering amount of transfer targets manager Benitez has ahead of the summer, namely 500.
The Spaniard was only able to bring in three loan signings during the January transfer window as the former Chelsea and Real Madrid chief sought much-needed reinforcements in a bid to avoid the drop, thus placing even greater emphasis on more long-term additions come the summer.
And it appears that the 57-year-old is already planning for the end of the season, as he reportedly has a staggering 500 transfer targets ahead of the summer window, and he reportedly plans to see them all in action in the coming ‘weeks and months’ to determine whether they’d be the right fit for his Newcastle team.
Obviously, whether Benitez can land some of those targets will depend on owner Mike Ashley and his promises, but Newcastle fans are sure to be satisfied that the Spaniard is already thinking about next season, plausibly suggesting that he does indeed plan to remain as manager.
Landlord’s verdict: Rafa Benitez has made no secret of his frustration with Newcastle’s transfer policy in the last few years, a policy that restricted the Spaniard to making just three loan signings during the January window.
However, that isn’t preventing the 57-year-old from planning for the future, as the former Chelsea and Liverpool boss reportedly has 500 targets ahead of the summer window.
And while this is sure to interest Newcastle fans, not least as it would suggest the Benitez plans on staying at the club, they are also likely to be remain cautious given that owner Mike Ashley remains in charge, and as such the transfer policy seen in recent times is likely to remain in place for the summer.
As such, how many of the 500 targets Benitez will actually be able to bring to St James’ Park is anybody’s guess.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!