Soccer News of Sunday, 28 August 2016
Newcastle United coach Rafael Benitez avoided questions on the reported transfer of Ghana and Chelsea midfielder Christian Atsu to his side as the Magpies enter a new campaign in the Championship following their relegation from the Premier League last season.
Benitez was holding a press conference ahead of his side’s Sunday fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion, revealing that there would be additions to his squad without making any reference to Atsu.
“We don’t talk about the targets [Christian Atsu],” he began. “We have players in different positions. I’m really pleased with the squad and how they train, but we have to keep the balance.
“It’s very difficult to have a manager who is really pleased with his squad. You always want to improve your squad with better players and we still need two or three players. Players who are versatile and can play in different positions.
“We have to do some deals. We are loaning players, sending players, buying players. We have some names, targets.
“We are trying very hard and we have been monitoring players but sometimes it depends on offers, wages, agents and I can’t mention names.
“We can afford players if it is necessary, but sometimes it is not easy because they won’t come to the Championship or they are in the Champions League,” he added.
Atsu joined Chelsea from FC Porto in 2013 but is yet to make a single first team appearance, going on loan to Dutch side Vitesse, Everton, Bournemouth and recently Malaga in Spain.