Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is still confident the club can bring in a centre forward before the transfer window closes, also ruling out the possibility of Mikel Merino leaving the club.

The Premier League strugglers appear to have passed up the opportunity to sign Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen, widely reported to have been their first choice target to provide more firepower up front.

After making two bids for the Denmark international last week, Newcastle missed a deadline to make a third offer on Monday evening [29 January], with Feyenoord now adamant the 27-year-old will remain at De Kuip for the rest of the season.

Shortly after that development, West Bromwich Albion completed the signing of Daniel Sturridge on loan from Liverpool until the end of the season. Newcastle had met Liverpool's demands for a loan fee and were prepared to pay the striker's entire salary – enough to make him the highest paid player on Tyneside.

But Sturridge's decision to choose a return to his native West Midlands leaves the north east club in a desperate situation with less than two days of the transfer window remaining.

Ahead of deadline day, Newcastle's only addition this month remains Kenedy on loan from Chelsea. But Benitez has reassured worried supporters he believes there will be at least one more new arrival.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Premier League clash against Burnley, the Newcastle boss said: "Still we have time," the Chronicle report. "I am still confident we can do something but I won't talk much about it. Yes, we are working on names as we have been working for more than a month on.

"We have a list. Still we have some time. We have an important game and I want to concentrate on that."

Henri Saivet and Aleksandar Mitrovic are among the current Newcastle players to be linked with moves away from St James' Park – although Benitez insists the latter will be permitted to join another English club.

According to The Chronicle, Anderlecht have lodged a bid to bring the Serbia international back to Belgium and while he did not name names, Benitez did confirm there are talks ongoing over possible exits.

"We have two or three players talking with different clubs. We can see if anything will happen, but it depends on players coming too. Nothing is finished yet with those deals, so we will see.

Merino meanwhile has been linked with a return to Spain, with Marca claiming Athletic Club want to add him to their squad to follow the signing of Inigo Martinez from Real Sociedad.

But when quizzed about the 21-year-old, Benitez replied: "I had some messages from Spanish journalists about him, but I told them no."

Rafa Benitez
Benitez still believes Mike Ashley can deliver new signings. Getty