With the January transfer window just two months away, Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the frustrating summer that had the cynics tipping him to walk away from St James’ Park.
With owner Mike Ashley unwilling to splash the big cash in the transfer market, Newcastle missed out on a number of Benitez’s top targets. With Ashley hoping to sell the club before the festive period, however, the Spaniard will be dreaming of receiving a sizeable transfer war chest as a belated Christmas gift from Newcastle’s prospective new owners.
And The Chronicle reports that there are at least three players on Benitez’s wishlist. The former Liverpool boss wants a left-back, a striker and a creative ‘number ten’ in the winter window – three positions the club failed to reinforce during the summer.
Will Newcastle grab Garry?
It’s at left-back, however, where Newcastle appear most in need of an addition. Paul Dummett has been missing since the opening day with a hamstring injury and, with Massadio Haidara out of favour and Achraf Lazaar out on loan, there is a complete absence of natural replacements.
Turkish Football reported last month that Newcastle are still interested in Galatasaray’s Cape Verde international Garry Rodrigues after seeing a £6 million bid rejected late in the summer window. And the left-sider should come into the club’s thinking again with Benitez hopeful of enhancing his defensive options.
In contrast to the steady and defensive-minded Dummett, Rodrigues is an attacking, modern full-back, reflected in his tally of three assists in eight Super Lig games for Galatasaray this season.
Renowned for his dribbling ability and buccaneering play, the nomadic 26-year-old, who arrived in Turkey after spells in Spain, Bulgaria, Holland and Greece, would be a popular addition with both Newcastle’s fans and their manager.