The Newcastle United fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping Rafa Benitez will be given a generous transfer budget to utilise this summer by Mike Ashley, although recent reports suggest relations between the pairing are becoming increasingly strained as talks regarding transfer strategy continue to drag on.
According to the Shields Gazette, Benitez is growing increasingly frustrated with the sluggish pace at which discussions between his representatives and Ashley are progressing. It is widely believed that Benitez wants full control over transfers and access to a proper transfer budget from which to build his squad, but Ashley’s history suggests he won’t get his wish unless he is able to sell the club this summer.
Regardless of whether Ashley is able to sell or not, he will need to provide Benitez with at least one quality signing this summer to ensure they build upon the progress they made last season as failure to do so could ultimately result in relegation to the Championship. With that in mind, Benitez should do everything in his power to convince Ashley to provide him with the funds to secure the services of Xherdan Shaqiri this summer.
The Swiss international who has notched 20 goals from 68 appearances for his country was recently relegated to the Championship with Stoke City despite his best efforts to carry his club to safety. Shaqiri recently admitted that he will leave the Potters this summer during an interview with Aargauer Zeitung (via Stoke Sentinel) and declared his desire to join a side in the Premier League.
Although they will undoubtedly face stiff competition for his signature, the Magpies should do everything they can to sign him this summer on a cut-price deal. The 26-year-old has proven his immense level of quality from both open play and dead-ball situations during his 3-year stay in the Premier League so far, and it’s likely that he will go from strength to strength if he is surrounded by players of a higher calibre next season.
With dazzling dribbling, a deft first-touch and a wonderful range of passing to bring to the table, Shaqiri would inject a level of flair and creativity into Newcastle which would enable them to push for a top-eight finish next season, so Benitez must pull off a masterstroke in the transfer market by convincing him to swap Staffordshire for Tyneside this summer.
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