Benitez's frustrations at Newcastle grow during quiet transfer period

General view inside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St. James Park

Rafa Benitez's patience at Newcastle wearing thin as Mike Ashley returns from holiday

Benitez says he's still waiting to find out his budget for this month's window - 12 days after it opened. The 57-year-old has been reluctant to talk about the transfer window in his recent press conferences, though that position could change.

He said: "The last time we (him and Ashley) talked, we talked about different players and trying to move forward". We need to strengthen certain positions.

"I'm still confident we will do what we have to do but I have to just concentrate on the games".

"We still have some weeks to go and have to keep working and try to do our best".

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

However, while Benitez may be prepared to do business with some of his fringe players - Jack Colback is perhaps the most high-profile - he has no intention of cashing in on men he believes can aid the club's cause.

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez says that the Magpies are not close to making any new signings, but claims that the club are working on transfers behind the scenes.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's visit of bottom-of-the-table Swansea, Benitez remained typically coy when asked about Newcastle's chances of strengthening their squad before the end of January's transfer deadline.

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"It is a good ground, but we must look at this game and this situation as an opportunity for the players to show their abilities, their quality".

"My belief is that we will do what we have to do".

"We're not thinking about selling anyone who's playing, because we need players", said Benitez.

"We have a lot of people working, talking to agents, giving us names and options".

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