Rafael Benitez
Benitez fears relegation could be a real possibility after five defeats in six. Getty Images

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez wants £20m (€22.6m) to spend in the January transfer window to ensure the club are primed for a battle against relegation.

Five defeats in the Toon's last six games has seen them tumble down the table and to within five points of the bottom three after 15 matches of the season.

Benitez made just six signings in the summer totalling £36.2m and feels he needs more to keep Newcastle from being sucked into a scrap for survival.

The ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid boss wants to sign a new striker, a number 10, a left back and possibly a goalkeeper next month, according to The Mirror.

England Under-20 World Cup winner Freddy Woodman is expected to leave on loan for a Championship club, while Aleksandar Mitrovic's days at the side are seemingly numbered.

Owner Mike Ashley is naturally unwilling to give Benitez significant funds as he attempts to sell the St James' Park outfit.

Amanda Staveley has given the sportswear tycoon less than two weeks to accept her £250m offer to buy Newcastle, a bid that included a relegation clause if the club drop into the Championship, according to The Times.

Experts say that Newcastle's value could halve if they are relegated for the third time in 10 seasons and that may force Ashley into handing Benitez the money he need to ensure the club remain in the top flight.

Both Staveley and Ashley want the deal to be completed as soon as possible in time for the takeover to impact the January transfer window. The Middle East-based investor has been linked with piling as much as £500m into the north east outfit in the next two transfer windows.

But those hopes will be in tatters if Ashley, who was hoping to recoup £380m for the club who he bought in 2007, does not accept her upfront offer, which he has been aware of for several weeks.

No rival offer has been forthcoming despite several groups having signed a non-disclosure agreement with Newcastle, which allows them to analyse the club's finances.