Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez held talks with Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona over securing loans for their players in the summer and is likely to have approached them again for the current window, according to a report.
The Chronicle claim in their live blog on their website (08/01, 07:54) that the Magpies’ manager was in touch with both his former side at the Bernabeu, as well as the Catalan giants, asking them to inform him of any potential loan departures which the north east club could pounce on.
It is said that Benitez knows he may be limited to securing temporary deals during the January market, and with a limit on how many players you can sign on loan from fellow English clubs, he is using his contacts to source talent from overseas.
Benitez spent seven months with Real Madrid in his last job before arriving at St James’ Park, having begun his managerial career with the La Liga giants’ reserve side back in 1993.
Football Insider verdict
Newcastle’s lack of financial firepower, all thanks to Mike Ashley’s shoestring budget for Benitez, could end up making or breaking the club’s season, with Premier League survival firmly on the line. The Spanish boss knows that he will not be able to splash the cash like his top flight counterparts, and instead has to use his nous, and extended list of contacts, to try and source the best deals possible, including loans. If any other manager were in charge of the Magpies, fans would have every right to be worried about their prospects, but Benitez is both tactically sound and has such a wide respect from the footballing community, even his former clubs. As such, securing deals which may seem ambitious will actually be within the realms of reality.
In other Newcastle United news, the club have been handed a major boost in the transfer window after a worrying update on takeover talks.