Report: Benitez prioritising two new signings in January, Newcastle takeover could spark transfer boost

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in...

Newcastle United are reportedly prioritising deals for a left back and a centre forward.

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in...

According to The Northern Echo, Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has prioritised the signings of a new left back and a new centre forward in January.

The Magpies endured a something of a frustrating summer transfer window, as manager Benitez was only able to bring in five signings –Florian Lejeune, Javier Manquillo, Mikel Merino, Jacob Murphy and Joselu – after landing Christian Atsu permanently from Chelsea.

Two defeats in the first two games of the season left many feeling that Newcastle's lack of quality added over the summer would be their downfall, but ten points in the next five games have restored some belief.

General view inside the stadium during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.General view inside St. James' Park

Benitez still needs new faces though, and whilst we are still three months away from the January transfer window, The Northern Echo report that the Spaniard is already planning to make new signings – with two positions believed to be his priority.

It's claimed that Benitez wants to sign a new left back and another centre forward in January, having missed out on strengthening both positions before the summer transfer deadline back in August.

Left back Paul Dummett has been out injured since the opening minutes of the season, meaning that Benitez has been forced to use the likes of Matt Ritchie, Chancel Mbemba and Javier Manquillo at left back.

Joselu of Newcastle reacts after missing a chance during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St. James Park on September 16, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...

Meanwhile, striker Joselu arrived from Stoke City over the summer, and whilst he has scored twice, his poor finishing – as well as the question marks over Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic – mean that Benitez will target another striker.

The report even adds that, with a number of parties interested in taking over the club, Mike Ashley's decision on whether to sell to a new investor or not may dictate Benitez's budget, as a new owner may be willing to back Benitez with the funds he needs to really turn Newcastle into a force again.

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