Newcastle owner Mike Ashley will only invest a significant sum of money in the January transfer window if he believes the Magpies are in genuine danger of relegation, according to journalist Chris Waugh.
Rafael Benitez's men sit 19th in the Premier League table and are still without a victory after eight league games this season, with the manager at odds with the club hierarchy over transfer funds.
In a Q&A on Friday, Waugh, a reporter for the Magpies in The Chronicle, indicated that Ashley, whose attendance at recent matches hasn't gone unnoticed, only cares about the side's Premier League survival and would only inject a considerable amount to help the side battle relegation, drawing similarities to previous campaigns in 2013, when they finished 16th, and 2016, when they were ultimately relegated.
Waugh said: "If Newcastle are in serious trouble by January, then I think United will spend a decent amount in the transfer market – just as they did during the mid-season windows in 2013 and 2016 when they were in perilous positions."
Waugh also indicated that in his opinion, Ashley wants Benítez to stay in order to help sustain his side's value.
He added: "My view – and this is very much a personal deduction – is that Ashley is merely happy to survive and, although he would like Benítez to stay in order to help maintain the current valuation of the club, he is unlikely to sanction a significant January spend unless Newcastle’s top-flight status really does appear in serious danger."
Newcastle face Brighton and Hove Albion following the international break on October 20, desperately hoping to earn their first three points of their campaign and move out of the relegation zone.