Rafa Benitez says Newcastle talking with agents over transfers

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Shelvey and striker Aleksandar Mitrovic are among those players who have been linked with moves away from Tyneside this month, but there have as yet been no offers for any of them.

Chelsea winger Kenedy is one target, but Antonio Conte is not yet ready to let the 21-year-old leave Stamford Bridge.

'Pessimists will point to the fact that 10 days have already gone with no new players coming in and only four days, or nine days, depending on how you see it, until Rafa's transfer deadline'.

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is determined to improve his attacking options during the January transfer window, after seeing his Magpies side score just 20 times in 22 matches so far this term.

"I talk to Lee Charnley everyday, but no idea (on any budget) but still working".

Asked if he is at the same level as Leicester's Maguire, Benitez said: "For me, for sure". We need to strengthen certain positions.

"We have to work with the names that we have and we have to try and do our best in the conditions we are working in". My belief is that we will do what we have to do.

Reports yesterday suggested a Dubai-based group have also expressed an interest in buying out Ashley, but given that they have not even begun a formal process of due diligence, if they do harbour any serious ambitions of mounting a takeover, they are at an extremely formative stage.

Rafa Benitez says Newcastle are "talking with agents", but remains uncertain about how much money he has to spend on transfers. I don't think it is intimidating. "I have made clear what we have to do now, without thinking about what may happen in the future".

"It is not a team at the bottom that will come here and say, "We are relegated" and that is it".

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