By Russell Edge

12th Dec, 2017 | 2:11pm

Benitez confirms critical Newcastle transfer discussions, talks held with targets

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has confirmed that he has held critical discussions over the club’s transfer policy with managing director Lee Charnley over the past few days and that they are in talks with players ahead of the January window.

The Magpies endured a difficult summer transfer market, bringing in just five new faces as well as turning Christian Atsu’s loan into a permanent deal, which left Benitez publicly venting his frustrations at the club’s failures to secure his top targets.

The Spanish manager has spoken out about the quality of his squad several times this season, and says that a lack of talent which has seen his side slip into 16th place after a seven game winless run.

Now, ahead of the January transfer window, he has confirmed that there was a meeting with club chief Charnley about the transfer budget which will be available, and also insisted that the club were in talks with some of their targets over a potential move.

He was quoted by the Chronicle’s Chris Waugh, on his personal Twitter account, as saying: “Still we’re monitoring & talking to players but still we do not know how much money is available.

“I don’t know if it’ll be loans or permanent yet, I don’t know budget but I hope to know soon.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“I met Lee Charnley the other day & I hope to have answer soon.”

Newcastle have managed to pick up just one point from a possible 21, with Saturday’s defeat to Leicester City condemning them to their sixth defeat in seven games.

They will play host to Everton on Wednesday night, who themselves are on a three game unbeaten streak with new manager Sam Allardyce, a former Newcastle boss, now at the helm.

In other Newcastle United news, Mark Lawrenson has delivered a damning verdict ahead of Wednesday’s showdown.

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Newcastle United breaking news.