Benitez keen to bolster Newcastle squad, unsure of funds available

Benitez keen to bolster Newcastle squad, unsure of funds available
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(Reuters) - Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez is keen to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window to help halt their slide towards the Premier League relegation places, but is unsure what funds will be made available to him.

The club's owner Mike Ashley is in talks over a possible sale with PCP Capital Partners, the investment firm run by British businesswoman Amanda Staveley which acts for investors in the Middle East and China.

Former Real Madrid manager Benitez was unhappy with the club's lack of transfer activity before the season began and Newcastle are on a run of seven league games without a win, which has left them 16th in the table.

"We are monitoring players but at the moment we don't know how much money is available," Benitez told a news conference ahead of Wednesday's home game against Everton.

"All we can do is concentrate on football and the games. We don't know what the budget is. We know what we need. But can we get that? I don't know."

Promoted Newcastle are two points above the relegation zone and failure to beat Everton could send them into the bottom three.

"We have to go and try to get three points in the next game," he added. "We don't need to think about a run of games, losing or winning. We concentrate on the next one and see after that.

"It's not rocket science - we need players in some positions. If we can, fine, if not, we will have to work harder."

Everton, who recently appointed the experienced Sam Allardyce as manager, are 10th in the table and unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions.

(Writing by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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