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Rafael Benitez: 'Newcastle United have to break transfer record'

Benitez: 'United must break transfer record'
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Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez acknowledges that his side will have to spend big if they want to bring in a 15-goal-a-season striker this summer.

Rafael Benitez has urged owner Mike Ashley to finally break Newcastle United's 13-year transfer record by splashing out on a proven striker this summer.

The Magpies' previous highest fee for a player remains the £16m paid to Spanish giants Real Madrid for Michael Owen in the 2005 transfer window.

Newcastle are in desperate need of some more firepower during the off-season, as current top scorer Ayoze Perez has six goals to his name - the lowest tally for a leading scorer at any Premier League club.

Benitez is aware that it will take a big sum to bring in the type of striker he is after, telling reporters at his weekly presser: "If you want to bring a striker with a guarantee of more than 10-15 goals per season, you have to pay money for him for sure."

Asked if that meant more than £16m, he replied: "In this market, yes. You can say that six goals is not too much. But at the same time we are one of the teams in the top in terms of shooting and top nine in terms of shots on target. So we are attacking.

"In this case for us, the performance has been more the team. When you have a lot of players with four or five goals it means that something is right. With five games to play we're safe, because we have good balance. You can win scoring more goals, that would be ideal. And you can win conceding less goals. If you have both, you can win trophies."

Benitez's transfer kitty could be boosted as Aleksandar Mitrovic is reportedly a £20m target for Fulham should they earn promotion to the top flight.


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