Rafa Benitez has laid down the gauntlet to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley by demanding that he sticks to his word over summer spending on new players.
Benitez had been promised every last penny generated by the club by Ashley in the wake of showdown talks that followed their promotion back to the Premier League.
But the Newcastle manager has been underwhelmed by the incoming business done so far this summer after he missed out on key targets such as striker Tammy Abraham and goalkeeper Willy Caballero.
Keith Downie, a Sky Sports correspondent for the north east, is currently out with the Newcastle squad at their pre-season training camp in Dublin and revealed Benitez’s comments on his personal Twitter account on Monday.
Downie tweeted the Toon manager’s quote, which stated: “Mike Ashley told me we had money available and we do. Hopefully he can keep his word and we can go forward.”
Rafa Benitez tells SSNHQ: "Mike Ashley told me we had money available and we do. Hopefully he can keep his word and we can go forward."
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) July 17, 2017
According to a previous Sky Sports report, the Newcastle owner had promised Benitez a staggering £70 million transfer budget to bolster his squad ahead of the club’s return to the Premier League.
However, former Liverpool boss has had a frustrating transfer window so far, particularly after missing out on Willy Caballero, who snubbed Benitez to join Chelsea, and Tammy Abraham who moved to the Liberty Stadium to join Swansea.
So far over the summer Newcastle have spent just £15 million on two new recruits which includes former Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu and Eibar’s Florian Lejeune.
The Magpies boss will be hoping to spend more money over the coming weeks to strengthen his squad ready for top flight football, and the club are currently preparing for the competition at a training camp in Ireland.