Rafa Benitez says Newcastle talking with agents over transfers

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Rafa Benitez says Newcastle's win over Stoke is an example of the team's continued effort, even if recent form affected their confidence.

Stoke's search for a new boss is likely to continue as a result of the revelation, with the Potters wanting a new manager in place before their trip to Manchester United next Monday.

'We can not sell players that are playing because we would have to replace them for better players and, in January, we would need a lot of money to convince players to come here, that is nearly impossible in January, ' said Benitez.

He remains hopeful of making two or three additions before the window closes at the end of the month, although he has had to downgrade his ambitions markedly since the turn of the year.

One thing that Benitez did stress was that he didn't have to sell to buy, though there will be some movement out of the club this month.

'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'.

Laurence Griffiths  GettyImages
Laurence Griffiths GettyImages

"We have until the 31st of January and I am confident that we will do what we have to do", he said.

Benitez would also like to sign a left-back and centre-forward this month, with Liverpool's Danny Ings still a live option in the latter position.

Lascelles has been important for Newcastle this season - they have collected 21 points from the 16 league games in which he has featured, and just one from the six in which he has not - and Benitez will hope he can build upon that record when Swansea head for St James' Park on Saturday. My belief is that we will do what we have to do.

We are now in the 12th day of the January transfer window and no action so far. We have to think we will do something before January 31, and I have made it clear we need some help.

Ashley, however, would rather Benitez sold before he bought. For me, it is obvious.

But the billionaire, we also know, is a gambler. "It doesn't matter what happens (with the takeover)".

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