Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez insists the club are still persevering in attempts to improve their squad before the end of the summer transfer window, with less than a week to go until their Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur. The Toon have made just five new additions since securing the Championship title despite owner Mike Ashley promising to invest "every penny" gained from promotion in the first team.
The arrivals of Jacob Murphy, Florian Lejeune, Christian Atsu, Javier Manquillo and Mikel Merino on loan from Borussia Dortmund has come at a total cost of £33.12m, according to Transfermarkt.co.uk - someway shy of what Benitez would have expected to be able to spend after returning to the top flight. Sky Sports understand that even should the Toon be relegated this season they would be entitled to £170m, a number which would increase if they beat the drop.
Benitez has regularly bemoaned the lack of signings made by Newcastle this summer as some of his chief targets move to their rivals. The likes of Tammy Abraham and Willy Caballero joined Swansea City and Chelsea respectively instead of moving to St James' Park but despite regular setbacks the Spaniard is confident of making further additions.
"We know what we need and we will try to do this until the end of the transfer window," Benitez said, according to Sky Sports, after Newcastle rounded off their pre-season with a 2-0 win over Hellas Verona. "We are now trying to move in different directions at the same time. We are trying to move players out to bring players in - that is what we are trying to do. We know where we are and what we need and if we can get that, I'm not sure."
The ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss has confirmed his interest in signing Lucas Perez from Arsenal, with the forward free to leave north London after the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette. Deportivo La Coruna are also keen on re-signing the 28-year-old who started just two Premier League matches last season.
Former Newcastle striker Micky Quinn has concerns over the club's fortunes this term following their struggles in the window and believes they still need another three signings to prevent being dragged into a relegation battle.
"[Benitez] needs backing to the hilt," Quinn told Talksport. "He keeps quoting the meeting he had with Ashley when he said he could have every penny and they blatantly haven't spent. He was after Willy Caballero, Tammy Abraham; when he's left it to the finance people the deals have fallen through over pennies rather than pounds, and that is the frustrating thing.
"They still need to me another three really quality players. I don't think they'll go down. I thought they would finish midway in the table, but I think they'll be hovering above the bottom three. Hopefully they'll be better than that."