Rafa Benitez tried to sign Liverpool’s first-team player this summer

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez was reportedly left deeply disappointed on deadline day after missing out on Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan.

The Magpies are said to have targeted the Estonia international as cover in the heart of defence, while an unnamed left-back – rumoured to be Stoke City’s Erik Pieters – was also on their radar.

According to the Newcastle Chronicle, Benitez was offered assurances that he would land his two men, only to be informed early on Thursday that the players he wanted did not fit club criteria.

Benitez admitted earlier in the week that he is frustrated by United’s transfer business, having once again had to operate with one hand tied behind his back, and this latest development is thought to have made tensions even worse.

Newcastle brought in six players in total, while offloading the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dwight Gayle, Chancel Mbemba and Jack Colback.

The club’s hierarchy responded to the recent complaints in a statement released on Friday evening.