Rafa Benitez has revealed that he still does not know Newcastle United’s January transfer budget – despite the window having opened on Monday.
The Magpies face Luton Town in the FA Cup on Saturday before returning to Premier League action next weekend for a key clash against Swansea City.
But Benitez, who had hoped to have his business done by January 20, is currently unaware of what funds he might have this winter as he waits to improve a modest squad.
“I don’t know exactly what our budget is, so I don’t have any news,” the Newcastle manager told a pre-match news conference ahead of the Luton game.
“We have to keep working and be sure that we have our targets but, because I don’t know [the budget], what I have to do is prepare for the game.
“We had a meeting last week where we had some conversations and I’m waiting now for an answer.”
Benitez added: “I am happy with my squad and still we need some bodies, but I will not say how many as I don’t know the budget.
“[I am] realistic – that means we have a game and that’s it.”
Newcastle have been linked with both Troy Deeney and Danny Ings as they look for a new centre forward, but Benitez refused to discuss either player.
The former Real Madrid coach brought in six players in the summer, with Christian Atsu’s move from Chelsea made permanent before Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy, Javier Manquillo, Mikel Merino and Joselu joined the Ghanaian on Tyneside.
Merino signed a long-term contract at St James’ Park in October after impressing following an initial loan switch.