In Focus: Rafa Benitez lines up trio as part of £70m spree; moves make sense

According to reports in The Telegraph, Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is set to be handed a summer transfer budget of £70m following the side’s promotion back to the Premier League, and he already has three targets in mind.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Spaniard is believed to be ready to tell owner Mike Ashley that he needs to make big changes to his squad this summer if they are to compete and avoid being in a relegation battle in the top flight next season.

The duo are set to hold talks about the future of the club next week and Benitez is hoping that his ambitions – aiming higher than just survival next term – are similar to Ashley’s.

The report suggests that Ashley is ready to give him £70m to spend, and the former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss is said to be targeting up to eight new additions, including Arsenal’s Calum Chambers, Everton’s James McCarthy and Fulham’s Tom Cairney.

Would the trio be good signings?

They certainly would.

Chambers has impressed during a season-long loan spell with Middlesbrough – even though they look set to get relegated – and can play either at centre-back, right-back and defensive midfield.

Meanwhile, McCarthy has fallen out of favour under Ronald Koeman this term but he was considered to be one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League just a couple of seasons ago.

Finally, Cairney has been one of the best players in the Championship this term and he looks ready to make the step up to the top flight, although any deal could depend on how Fulham fare in the play-offs.

Will £70m be enough to convince Benitez to stay?

It’s difficult to say.

Benitez was frustrated when he wasn’t given any money to spend during the January transfer window and he won’t put up with a similar situation in the summer – especially if he doesn’t have full control of which players the club is signing.

If he believes he needs more than £70m and he doesn’t get it, he will likely walk away.