Newcastle players shun media in dispute with club over bonuses

Rafa Benítez's angry message to Newcastle United owner

Benitez has made no secret of his frustrations with what's taking place behind the scenes at St James' Park and is reportedly refusing to sign a contract extension with the Magpies until certain demands are met.

The Newcastle manager said he and his backroom team have been ready to strike in the summer transfer window for months. I am confident we can do it.

They are in disagreement with the club over bonuses they will receive for the upcoming season, and now they've started to protest. "We can talk [he and Charnley] and be close [to making signings] but after we are not so close", he said.

But Benitez clearly feels more must be done, adding: "I am not happy we are looking to just survive every year".

So far this summer Newcastle have sold Mikel Merino to Real Sociedad for £10mn, Aleksandar Mitrovic to Fulham for £22mn, Chancel Mbemba to Porto for £8mn and Matz Sels to Strasbourg for £3.5mn.

The Magpies had already snapped up Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schar, Ki Sung-yueng, Kenedy and Yoshinori Muto to boost Rafael Benitez's options, but the Spaniard has remained in pursuit of another striker. 'They want to have better players around because they have more possibilities to win'.

Key player: Jonjo Shelvey - Began last season in disgrace, with an idiotic sending-off in the opening defeat to Tottenham, and ended it producing the kind of form that sparked calls for him to make England's World Cup squad.

Rondon will provide Newcastle with the physicality that Gayle lacked and act as a focal point in attack. "But I can't say too much".

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