Rafael Benitez insisted he was still in the dark over Amanda Staveley’s proposed Newcastle takeover after seeing his team slump to a seventh defeat in eight Premier League outings.
Wayne Rooney’s 27th-minute goal ultimately secured a 1-0 win for Everton at St James’ Park as they extended their unbeaten run under new manager Sam Allardyce to four games.
Much of the talk on Tyneside ahead of kick-off surrounded reports that Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners are close to agreeing a £300million deal with current owner Mike Ashley, although Benitez was tight-lipped afterwards.
He said: “I don’t have any information. As I said the other day, I need to know how much money we will have for January as soon as possible, that’s it.
“But I don’t have information about the takeover.”
With Ashley having put the club up for sale after admitting he cannot afford to finance Benitez’s blueprint for success following a disappointing summer transfer window, the Spaniard is hoping to be able to strengthen his squad significantly next month amid speculation that the current owner will be reimbursed whatever he invests once a takeover has been completed.
But whoever is at the helm once the window opens will be under pressure to spend with the Magpies hurtling straight back into the Sky Bet Championship if something does not change radically, with only a point separating them from the bottom three.
Benitez’s men will count themselves unfortunate to have been punished for a Karl Darlow error after twice hitting the woodwork before the break, but their woes were compounded in stoppage time when midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was sent off for a second bookable offence which will cost him a two-match ban.
Benitez said: “It’s very difficult to accept and to understand, but we have to be sure that the players are not down for too long because we have to prepare for the next game.”