Benitez warns Ashley – spend money or I could quit Newcastle

Date published: Tuesday 18th July 2017 11:14

Rafael Benitez has urged Mike Ashley to provide him with his promised transfer funds – or risk seeing him walk out on Newcastle.

The Magpies have struggled to significantly strengthen their squad ahead of their return to the Premier League, with only Florian Lejeune recruited and a permanent deal for Christian Atsu competed so far.

While the club look set to sign Jacob Murphy after agreeing a £12.5million fee with Norwich, it’s been a frustrating summer so far with deals missed on the likes of Willy Caballero and Tammy Abraham.

And Benitez has given the owner a nudge to keep his word after Ashley convinced the Spaniard to stay at St James’ Park based on promises of having cash available to spend on new players.

“When I had the meeting with Mike Ashley I was confident that we have the money available and the wages,” said Benitez at the team’s Carton House training base here in County Kildare.

“Everything is in place to move forward. Hopefully Mike can keep his word and we can do what we want to do.

“In January we didn’t sign players but we had £30m ready for the future, so now we are in a situation where we are going slowly but I still have confidence that everything will be fine after my meeting with Mike.

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“He said that he would give us every last penny so hopefully he will do it and I’m confident that he will.”

Benitez was linked with a move away from Tyneside after guiding the club back to the Premier League, with the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss receiving lucrative offers from abroad.

“I could go away and make some money,” the manager reminded Ashley. “If you go to China you can make a lot of money.

“The priority for me was to stay. I decided to stay because of the fans, the club, the possibilities for the future and to stay in England close to my family.

“Then the meeting was crucial to convince me to stay. Mike told me ‘We have this money, it is available, it’s OK’, so, fine, we were happy with that.”

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