Newcastle's reported Ragnar Klavan interest highlights Benitez's deadline day desperation

Newcastle United Manager Rafael Benitez during the Newcastle United Training Session at the Newcastle United Training Centre on July 7, 2018, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Rafa Benitez reportedly tried and failed to convince Newcastle United to make a late move to sign Liverpool's Ragnar Klavan.

Newcastle United Manager Rafael Benitez during the Newcastle United Training Session at the Newcastle United Training Centre on July 7, 2018, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

If you were wondering just how desperate Rafa Benitez became on transfer deadline day, consider this; he wanted Ragnar Klavan as a back-up left-back.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley might have promised that there would be money to spend this summer after Benitez led Newcastle to a top half Premier League finish but it seems that smoke and mirrors were once again in operation.

The Magpies only spent around £20 million all summer, mere pennies by Premier League standards and less than the likes of Huddersfield and Cardiff. And Benitez was once again left visibly frustrated as Newcastle failed to secure the vast majority of his top targets – including a new left-back.

 

Links with the likes of Kieran Gibbs, Stanley N’Soki, Joe Bryan, Nicolas Tagliafico and Leighton Baines came and went. And it seems that Benitez made a rather desperate last ditch attempt to lure Liverpool’s Estonian international Ragnar Klavan to St James’ Park.

The Chronicle reports that Bentiez felt Klavan could offer cover at left-back, despite the fact that you can count on one hand the amount of times he has played in that position during his two years at Anfield.

Ragnar Klavan of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Huddersfield Town at Anfield on October 28, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

The report adds that Newcastle blocked a move for Klavan who, at 32, doesn’t fit the club’s profile of signing younger players.

If Benitez stays at Newcastle for much longer, his perseverance can only be applauded.

Ragnar Klavan of Liverpool tackles Dusan Tadic of Southampton during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on November 18, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

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