Belfast Telegraph

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez wants answers regarding spending in January window

Rafael Benitez is urging Newcastle to give him answers over the January transfer window as he plots a route to Premier League safety.

Benitez knows his hopes of significant spending power next month are receding by the day with no sign of a significant breakthrough in owner Mike Ashley's efforts to sell the club before Christmas.

Should Ashley remain at the helm on January 1, he will face a decision over whether to stick or twist and, while his manager is not demanding a major cash injection, he does want to know if he will be able to strengthen his squad.

Speaking as he prepared his players for Wednesday night's clash with Everton, Benitez said: "What I would say is that if you know where you are and what you have, it's easier for me and it's easier for our people.

"We can talk with agents, players and clubs and say, 'We're here' and 'We can' or 'We cannot'. It's easier. You know where you are and you can go in one direction or another one. You need to know as soon as possible.

"Now we need to concentrate on this game. Hopefully, we can finish this game and talk. We have Arsenal in a few days, but still, we need to know because our people are travelling round the world watching games.

"We have our targets."

Ashley is understood to be back in the country after travelling to America following his meeting with prospective buyer Amanda Staveley last week, and the Spaniard is hoping for clarity within days.

Asked how quickly he hoped to be told what his budget would be, he said: "I would say as soon as possible. That's normal.

"You have to go to the market in January and have your targets. You need to know the budget. That's it."

In the meantime, Benitez will hope his side can end a run of seven league games without a win - which has yielded just a single point - against former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce's improving Everton.

He said: "He was in the stands and they won 4-0 (against West Ham) without him doing anything, then they have more confidence. When they are winning, they will have more confidence. It's a positive circle for them."

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