Lewis Ambrose

Rafa Benitez confirms interest in two targets

Rafa Benitez has confirmed Newcastle’s interest in Chelsea winger Kenedy and Arsenal’s Lucas Pérez.

The Spanish manager has not been shy about his frustrations this summer and even admitted those two players aren’t necessarily his main targets.

Kenedy would join on loan from Chelsea but Benitez is also interested in signing a striker.

Earlier in the week, the Newcastle boss confirmed he has spoken to Arsène Wenger about the prospect of signing Lucas, who scored eight times in 22 appearances (and just 10 starts) last season.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has admitted he can’t give Benitez the funds he wants to improve the team but referenced the funding of Manchester City.

“So I don’t have that ability to write a cheque for £200million, I don’t have it, it’s very simple, it’s not there. I would have to sell the Sports Direct shares to fund that.

“People outside of football looking in, and the way sometimes it’s portrayed, is that those sort of wealth terms are in the bank – they’re not and I’ve got to make that crystal clear.”

It appears unlikely Benitez wants as much as £200m to bolster the squad and keep Newcastle competitive on their return to England’s top flight.