Rafael Benitez has called on Newcastle to find the right ‘balance’ with their transfer policy.
Speculation has surfaced that owner Mike Ashley wants to Benitez to solely recruit young players, with the retail entrepreneur wanting each player to hold a resale value.
The recruitment strategy could threaten Benitez’s long-term future at the club, with the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager’s contract set to expire at the season’s end.
Benitez is keen to secure a permanent deal for on-loan forward Salomon Rondon, though Ashley is said to be opposed to paying a significant fee for a player who turns 30 in September.
Benitez believes the club should be flexible regarding recruitment, saying experience is needed alongside youth to form a successful team.
“If you want to win something, if you want to win trophies, then in my experience you need experience or you could have all the best young players in the world. But we cannot [have that],” Benitez told the press ahead of his sides clash with Leicester tonight.
“You need experience, and at the same time you need the energy levels and determination, and the hunger that the young players have.
“At Napoli, for instance, we showed it is important to find this balance. We were signing players with experience first – Mertens, Higuain, Albiol, Callejon, Insigne was already there. After we signed Koulibaly and Jorginho, who are all young players.
“We were signing young players that had enough quality, and when you put them together with with Christian Maggio, Pepe Reina, then you have a good team.”
“When I arrived at Napoli, the president came to see me and said, ‘We will sell Cavani’. We sold him for around £60m to PSG, then we reinvested the money to make a team who could compete in Europe.
“He had this vision, and he did it really well. For around £60m we signed Reina, Higuain, Callejon, Mertens and Albiol. Afterwards we signed younger players, and then we built a team.
“Eventually they sold Jorginho for £57million, and Higuain for £90million. Just with these two players we doubled the money. It’s about finding the balance between profit and investing.
“Now that club has had four years or more in the Champions League.
“I’m telling you the idea, but I don’t want to talk about this before the game and waste energy. We have an important, we have to stay up, we need three points, and we have to concentrate on that.
“We have some experience and some youngsters. The balance is good. We are more or less fine.