Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has admitted that he is 'not 100 percent happy' that he needs to 'wheel and deal' in the transfer market, as the club's owner Mike Ashley continues to rein in transfer spending.
Quoted by the Mirror, Benitez expressed his dissatisfaction with his limited budget, while acknowledging that he has to make optimal use of the funds made available to him.
"We have to adapt. Are we happy with that? Obviously, not 100%," said Benitez, adding: "But we have to be sure that the team's strong enough and we can compete in the Premier League."
The 58-year-old continued: "I think it’s normal for us now to be like that. Unfortunately we wheel and deal – it’s the way for us." He also lamented the way in which this approach limits his options, saying: "As soon as the price goes high I know we can’t buy them [players]."
One such player is Andros Townsend, who could potentially have replaced Stoke City target Matt Ritchie. Unfortunately, the Crystal Palace and England winger is considered too expensive for the Magpies, so Benitez is refusing to sell Ritchie.
It's a depressingly familiar situation for the Toon Army, with Benitez clearly dissatisfied with the funds at his disposal. "We are in the same position as we were last year," he acknowledged.
Meanwhile, the standoff between Benitez and Ashley continues. The owner recently said that he would only release additional funds once the manager has signed a new long term contract, and Benitez is still refusing to do so - although he only has one year left to run on his current deal.
Asked about his contract situation, Benitez replied: "At the moment it's just wait. I don't want to keep talking about that."