Newcastle fans feel there is once again ... trouble around the corner.
The Chronicle report that Rafael Benitez’s pleas to managing director Lee Charnley for early-window signings to be advanced and sealed have been completely snubbed.
It is said that the north-east giants “are yet to make a single bid for a new face this summer” even though pre-season starts in just 18 days. There have been no significant transfer breakthroughs and no progress on the long list of targets Benitez and the recruitment team have presented to the board.
Supporters will be raging that not only have the club made no attempt to reinforce a squad that is mediocre at best, certainly in elite Premier League terms, but that manager Benitez’s demands are just ignored.
Not that Rafa is asking for a lot. Not this time. He has reportedly tweaked his original wish for four or five new faces to be through the entrance door by 2 July to “at least one”.
And Martin Dubravka does not count, the 2017-18 loanee who has been signed on a permanent deal after his impressive form in the second half of last season.
That deal had already been effectively done, as Newcastle simply triggered the loan-to-buy option already in place.
Who can blame Newcastle fans for raging at owner Mike Ashley, whose diktats are carried out by Charnley in the face of logic and seemingly the good of the team?
The managing director’s job depends upon complying with the instructions of the Sports Direct tycoon, and Benitez will know the managing director is not the puppet master.
But is Rafa waiting to see what talent crops up in the World Cup?
If I was manager I'd be glued to the screeen, but there is obviously more to signing players than what happens in 90 minutes.
Fingers crossed the players will come through the door soon.