By Laura O'Leary

9th Dec, 2017 | 7:40pm

'It's obvious' – Benitez ups the ante with Ashley, makes direct plea to Newcastle owner

Rafa Benitez has pleaded with Mike Ashley to ensure Newcastle United invest in signing new players in the January transfer window.

In an interview with The Guardian, the Magpies boss has revealed that the team simply need to make signings in January as there are positions that need reinforcing.

Benitez directly addressed Ashley when he highlighted why it was important to invest now.

“The further away from relegation, the more valuable the club is,” said the Newcastle United manager.

“But it’s obvious that we have some positions we have to reinforce.

“He’s a businessman,” Benitez added. “And a businessman will have a clear idea about what he needs to do to improve his business. He wants to win because it’s good for him, so he’ll try to do that.

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“Two points could be salvation at the end of the season. We need to improve because we didn’t do what we had to do in the summer.”

The manager pointed to the fact that small margins decide who get relegated from the Premier League, and after the club failed to do enough business in the summer they need to act in January.

However, Ashley may be unwilling to invest in January as the businessman continues to try and sell the club.

He wanted to sell the club by Christmas but that’s looking extremely unlikely now.

Amanda Staveley and her PCP partners are still the lead candidates to takeover, but saw their first bid rejected.

Benitez is aware of the situation hence why he referred to the value of the club being damaged without January transfers, as that would affect any deal Ashley could make.

The Magpies are 16th with 15 points, making them two points clear of the relegation places.

Newcastle United have not won any of their last six league games, slumping to five defeats.

In other Newcastle United news, this 27-year-old has revealed that the club saw a summer move fall through.

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