Report: Benitez makes emphatic decision on future of 22-year-old Newcastle striker, drops hint about summer business
By Harry Sykes
Rafa Benitez has turned down loan offers for Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and it is claimed he will stay at the club past the September transfer deadline, according to a report.
The Chronicle also claims that after the club signed striker Joselu from Stoke for £5million, Benitez has hinted that his striker business is concluded for the summer.
Despite a lot of interest in the Serbian international, no concrete offers have been made and Benitez isn’t interested in loaning the player out.
With Mitrovic himself said to be happy to stay and fight for his place, it looks like Newcastle will have three strikers – Joselu, Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle battling for the lone spot up front.
“We have had a lot of interest in some of our players but the question is how much they have offered,” Benitez said.
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“If you say you can pay £220m for Neymar, how much is the striker at the next level? And the next? I said the other day, if you can kick the ball forward it’s £10million, if you can score it’s £20million.
“So how much do you expect someone interested in Gayle or Mitro or one of our players to ensure it’s the right price? We would have to sign another one. We don’t have too many strikers.”
Football Insider verdict:
When Newcastle won their place back in the Premier League, few fans thought they’d be looking to keep themselves there with a strike force of Joselu, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle. Gayle did a great job in the Championship last year but the Premier League is a huge step up. Joselu has been hugely disappointing at Stoke, and although Benitez has acknowledged that and says he expects the player to do better at Newcastle, the jury is still out. Mitrovic, despite his erratic performances, is a fan favourite at St James’ Park and the supporters will be glad to hear that he’s staying. However, he really is in the last-chance saloon now. He’s not likely to get too many more chances to prove himself and realise the talent he’s undoubtedly got. If he can grab the opportunity with both hands though and get off to a fast start in the Premier League – a level he will believe he’s capable of playing at – he could turn himself into a Newcastle hero.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, the Magpies have received a response after they tabled a bid for this Serie A forward.