Sack face: Rafa Benitez has been dismissed as Real Madrid manager

By Will Butcher

Rafaek Benitez has revealed Newcastle are “close” to adding to their six summer signings.

The Magpies have already dwarfed their Championship rivals with the amount of money they’ve spent, shelling out a total of around £35million on new talent.

Speaking after Newcastle’s 2-0 triumph over Southend, the former Real Madrid manager told the Evening Chronicle that they aren’t far away from announcing more signings.

When asked if he will spend more, Benitez said: “Yeah. We were moving quickly at the beginning and then the Premier League teams started to spend some money.

“Then everybody thought the prices will be higher then it becomes more difficult. But still we have some things behind the scenes and we are close.

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“The main thing for me is to be sure we can bring the players we need to improve the squad.”

Newcastle have signed Premier League stars Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle for £10million each, whilst Blackburn captain Grant Hanley joins for £5.5million.

Belgian goalkeeper Matz Sels put pen to paper for £5million, whilst Arsenal’s Isaac Hayden and Atletico Madrid’s Champions League defender Jesus Gamez look to beef up the Magpies’ defence.

The former Liverpool manager is desperate to return the North East side to the Premier League after last season’s relegation, and The Mirror reported that Benitez has most recently been linked with Tottenham playmaker Alex Pritchard.

TalkSport have also claimed that Benitez is keen on signing Wolves’ former Liverpool midfielder Conor Coady, after the England under-20 international made 37 Championship appearances last year.

In other Newcastle transfer news, fans have reacted after it was reported that the Magpies could lose Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote to this side.