Rafa Benitez takes fresh transfer dig at Newcastle owner Mike Ashley


Rafael Benitez was unahppy with Newcastle’s transfer dealing this summer (Picture: Getty)

Rafael Benitez insists he has no option but to field a weakened team in tonight’s Carabao Cup match against Nottingham Forest.

Newcastle have taken just a single point from their opening three games this season following Sunday’s defeat against Chelsea and face Manchester City and Arsenal in their next two matches.

The relationship between Benitez and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley remains an uneasy one, with the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager having voiced his displeasure at the club’s lack of transfer activity over the summer.

Newcastle generated a profit of £21million during the close season and Benitez believes he has been forced to make wholesale changes for the trip to the City Ground.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was sold by Newcastle to Fulham during the summer (Picture: Getty)

Asked if he could have prioritised the cup competitions more on the back of better business, said: ‘Yes, clearly.

‘You have to manage your squad. Depending on the transfer window, your squad is stronger or not. You have to manage the team.

‘You think that you can win the cup if everything is right. But you saw the bench of Chelsea the other day.

‘They had a world champion on the bench. Yes, on the bench. So that means they can play this competition with players that will still be top-class.

‘So playing with your “best XI” until the end, and the chance you will be better than all of these teams, it really is not too big.’


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