Newcastle United fans might have hoped that the departure of Mike Ashley, and the subsequent arrival of deep-pocketed new owners, would precede an unprecedented spending spree in the January transfer window.
But that does not appear to be the case. It is understood, via the International Business Times, that manager Rafa Benitez has asked for around £20 million in January – which seems like something of a modest fee after he was clearly frustrated after spending almost double that over the summer.
And with the report adding that Benitez wants a goalkeeper, a left-back, a striker and a new number ten, fans may be concerned that he will be shopping in the bargain basement once again, bringing more like Joselu to Tyneside.
So with £20 million needed to be spread across four players, surely Benitez cannot afford to renew his interest in Fulham playmaker Tom Cairney.
The Northern Echo clamed in November that the EFL Player of the Year was a priority for Benitez in the January window, regardless of whether or not the takeover was completed by the turn of the year.
Fulham rejected a £20 million bid for Newcastle in the summer, however, so it appears that they would have to increase that offer to tempt them into a sale. But Benitez is surely not going to spend all of his budget on one player – especially when he sees a goalkeeper, left back and striker as a priority.
Combining goals, assists and a masterful range of passing, Cairney is certainly a stylish number ten who fits the bill for Newcastle. But not at £20 million.