Rafa Benitez blocked Newcastle United from making two record breaking signings last summer, according to Off the Pitch.
When the Spaniard signed his new contract in 2017 it was said to have been agreed that he would be given the final say on all signings made under his tenure.
According to the report, this led to him blocking two potential transfers at the beginning of this season that would have broken the Magpies’ longstanding club record fee, owner Mike Ashley giving the green light for the young players to be signed.
It is also understood that Mike Ashley will seek assurances from Benitez in the near future that he will revert back to the owner’s preferred transfer strategy, mainly signing younger players with good potential and high resale values.
Superficially, this report could be seen as an example of Benitez stunting his side’s growth by turning his nose up at potential signings. In reality, however, if the players aren’t right and don’t fit his vision of the club, then the manager has every right to say no. Perhaps more worrying for Newcastle fans, however, will be the suggestion that Ashely wants things done his way from now on. On paper, signing young talent with high potential is a good thing, but reading between the lines, Ashley really wants cheap players who can do a job for a couple of seasons that he can sell on at a decent mark up. It was a policy that infuriated fans before, and it will do exactly the same this time around. All it means is that whenever the Magpies get a decent team together, Ashley will no doubt jump at the opportunity to turn a profit when the vultures come to pick the bones of his squad clean. That’s not a sustainable way of ensuring progression.