Rafa Benitez is set for crunch talks with Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley over a lack of flexibility in the club's transfer budget. 

The Magpies manager has been restricted to three loan signings and feels this is well below what is needed to keep the club from relegation. 

It is not the first time Benitez has voiced his frustration, back in November Benitez stated: "You can lose against the top teams, we have to compete against​ Huddersfield, ​Brighton, or ​Burnley, but we couldn't sign players that they signed. We couldn't pay the wages that they paid, so that is what we have.

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"I can tell you a couple of players in each team that maybe we could have signed, but we couldn't pay the wages, or we couldn't pay the transfer fee, or whatever."

Only last month Alan Shearer reiterated Benitez's concern and expressed that the Spaniard was not being given the tools needed to fulfil his ambitions: “I spoke to him before the season started and he was pretty frustrated in that he hadn’t been given what he thought he was going to get.”

Despite reports suggesting Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital submitted an offer of £250m in November, the Newcastle United owner has labelled takeover talks "a complete waste of time."

Following the breakdown in negotiations, Benitez will seek assurances that he will be given the financial muscle over the remaining 13 days of the transfer window to fund the necessary acquisitions.

The former Real Madrid and ​Liverpool boss, whose side face ​Premier League leaders ​Manchester City this weekend, has pushed managing director Lee Charnley to broker deals for players this month, including a temporary deal for Chelsea's Kenedy the first name on the list. 

​Newcastle have been given a deadline of the end of next week to wrap up a deal for the Brazilian left-back and Benitez demands a show of intent.

Sales may be a necessary factor with both Dwight Gayle and Jonjo Shelvey potential departures. ​Fulham have reignited an interest in Dwight Gayle and Benitez is a known admirer of the Cottagers' Tom Cairney having had a bid turned down last summer meaning a swap deal could well be on the cards. 

Meanwhile, both ​West Ham and ​West Brom are eyeing up Toon midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. Any potential fee for the former Swansea City midfielder is likely to be north of £15m.