Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez admits attempts to sign new players are in the blocks until he can offload some of the club’s dead wood. There are as many as seven players which the Spaniard has made surplus to requirements and they must depart before the Magpies can make any further signings.
Tim Krul, Achraaf Lazaar, Massadio Haidara, Grant Hanley, Jack Colback, Henri Saivet and Emmanuel Riviere are among the players being considered for moves away having been told they will not be considered for selection this season.
Benitez has bemoaned the resources available to him this season amid Newcastle’s poor start to the season which saw them follow-up the opening day loss to Tottenham Hotspur with defeat to Huddersfield Town. Six new signings have been made but no further additions are imminent until their wage bill is streamlined.
“The transfer window is open, but we were coming from the Championship and when we were in the Championship we knew we had to sign players for the Championship,” said the Newcastle boss, according to the Northern Echo. “Now we have to move some players.
“We have to wait until 1 September and we know things will be different. We are working on moving players out and moving players in. We are closer to outgoings than two days ago, but still I am not sure how close. We are working on in-comings behind the scenes.
“When you have so many days and weeks, and so many players around, it is not easy. We have players who we know will leave, but they are still around. That is not easy. Some teams need two or three players because they were already in the Premier League, but we are coming from the Championship and need more players.”
In an effort to kick-start their campaign, Benitez will ring the changes for the Carabao Cup second round visit of Nottingham Forest on Wednesday [23 August]. Jacob Murphy, Mo Diame, Joselu and Aleksandar Mitrovic could all start after being on the bench against Huddersfield, while Dan Barlaser could make just his third appearance after being promoted to the Newcastle first team from the academy.
“Winning games would make everything more positive,” the ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid boss insisted. “The majority of the players were working with us last year and know how we work. It is more difficult in the Premier League but it is still the same methodology that has been working for years.”