Rafael Benitez commented on Newcastle United training ground bust-up between Jamaal Lascelles and Mo Diame.
Ahead of Newcastle United’s Premier League clash with Southampton, the Magpies manager Rafael Benitez has addressed several issues during his pre-match press conference.
Benitez has confirmed that two players – Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara – are out for this game. He added that Jonjo Shelvey has a finger injury and he won’t take throw ins.
"We have two players out (Dummett and Haïdara), then just little problems. Jonjo has a finger injury… he won’t take the throw-ins," said Benitez, as quoted by The Chronicle.
The Spaniard also gave his reaction to the training ground bust-up that happened earlier this week. He confirmed that there was a “fight”, but afterwards both Jamaal Lascelles and Mo Diame apologised.
“To be fair, it was a surprise. It was part of a small training game and there was a fight," Benitez added.
“Jonjo was in the middle so he was making peace and everything was fine. After the incident they apologised to each other.
On Friday, Newcastle confirmed that they have signed Mikel Merino on a permanent deal from Borussia Dortmund.
The Spanish midfielder has signed a five-year deal at the Tyneside club after the Magpies decided to activate the buyout clause in his loan deal.
Benitez has said that he is pleased with the move. He has labelled him as a “good player” and a “good professional”, and wants him to improve at the club.
Rafa on Merino: 'Really pleased. Good player, good professional. Him&Jamaal's contract are two bits of good news for the future of the club'— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) October 13, 2017
“I’m really pleased we have been able to bring Mikel to the club permanently. He has settled in quickly, has a lot of quality on the ball and is keen to learn – that is a crucial part of his future development," said Benitez when asked to comment on Merino's deal.
“He has made a great impression at the club, and he is a good professional. He has confidence, but he is still young and has things to improve. He has to keep working hard and playing well, and hopefully he can improve and enjoy playing here .”
Newcastle are sitting on 9th in the Premier League with 10 points on board, two points and two places above Southampton.