Rafael Benitez is set for transfer showdown talks with the Newcastle United board this week, according to the Daily Mirror.

The news comes after the Magpies had a reported £12 million bid rejected for Stoke City striker Joselu in midweek, with the Potters describing the bid as ‘derisory’.

That news is said to have infuriated former Napoli boss Benitez – who is now demanding transfer talks with chief executive Lee Charnley and owner Mike Ashley.

The boardroom pair – who aren’t the most popular figures on Tyneside to begin with – are also said to be refusing to enter the race to sign Toon favourite Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace this summer.

That news will bring anger and disbelief to the terraces at St James Park – something the club could desperately do without before the start of the new Premier League season.

Controversial owner Ashley had originally promised Benitez that ‘every penny the club made’ would be available for transfers this summer.

However, the club have only spent £33 million on transfers so far in this pre-season – and given that Benitez made a £31 million profit on transfers at the end of last summer, fans will be wondering how this so called ‘warchest’ has disappeared so mysteriously.

Newcastle open up their Premier League campaign on Sunday 13th August with an incredibly tough game against title chasing Tottenham Hotspur.

The Magpies were already relegated to the Championship when the teams last met in the 2015/16 season, yet the Tyneside outfit trounced Spurs 5-1.

A repeat of that scoreline seems highly unlikely given the North London outfit’s meteoric rise over the last 18 months – but the Geordie faithful will be optimistic the side can make a triumphant return to the top flight of English football.

For that to happen though, Benitez simply must stay – and to stay, he must get what he wants.


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