Newcastle are reportedly ready to sell striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Newcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic looks dejected
The Magpies opened their Championship campaign with a shock 1-0 defeat away at Fulham on Friday evening, with Benitez's men only managing to muster two shots on target.
Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates after scoring for Newcastle
Dwight Gayle started that game, and Benitez couldn't call upon Serbian hitman Mitrovic for the game, as he was serving the first game of a four-game ban.
The volatile striker, 21, was sent off on the final day of the Premier League season, and as it was his second red card of the season, he was handed a four-match ban – and he may even have played his final game for Newcastle.
Newcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring against Norwich City
The Mirror report that manager Benitez would like to sell Mitrovic before the transfer window closes at the end of this month, as he feels he can't trust the hot-headed centre forward.
Mitrovic, who scored nine goals in the Premier League last season, may attract some interest given his youth as well as his abilities as a target man, where he thrives thanks to his power and aerial ability.
If the report is true, then Newcastle would be giving up on Mitrovic just a year after Benitez's predecessor Steve McClaren brought the striker in for £13m, as reported by The Chronicle in 2015.
Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates
Ultimately though, it's hard to see Benitez sell Mitrovic right now, at least until he has a replacement lined up. If Benitez was to make such a decision, it would surely have been made at the start of the summer rather than weeks before the transfer deadline, unless there is major interest behind the scenes tempting the Spaniard into a sale.
Benitez even told the Shields Gazette earlier this week that he hopes Mitrovic can score goals in the Championship, which don't sound like the words of a man ready to sell the striker, even despite his well-known disciplinary problems.
Newcastle aren't blessed with striking options right now, and it could be an interesting few weeks regarding Mitrovic's future at St. James' Park, given how much of a surprise it would be for the Magpies to let him go right now.
Do you think Benitez should keep or sell Mitrovic?