THE progress of Newcastle United’s ongoing takeover talks over the next couple of months will determine the extent of Rafael Benitez’s January transfer budget.

Benitez is already making plans for the reopening of the transfer window, and intends to prioritise the pursuit of a left-back and centre-forward, having failed to recruit in a player in either position in the final days of the summer signing period.

He is yet to hold detailed talks with Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley about his likely budget for January, but the size of his spending pot is set to be heavily dependent on the success or failure of ongoing takeover discussions.

At least two Far Eastern consortiums are understood to have signed non-disclosure agreements with the Magpies, signalling their intent to explore the financial attractiveness of the club.

In addition to those talks, Amanda Staveley remains keen to buy a Premier League club with the assistance of her PCP Capital Partners group, with Newcastle United and Liverpool understood to be at the forefront of her thoughts.

Ashley has brought in lawyer Justin Barnes to oversee the day-to-day discussions with interested parties, and is being kept closely informed about developments.

If there is a strong chance of Newcastle being sold, he will be reluctant to commit too much extra investment during the January window as there would be very little chance of recouping the money at a later date.

Ideally, a takeover would be completed before the end of the year, leaving new investors to pick up the tab for Benitez’s January spending. It is conceivable that a deal could be concluded within such a timeframe, although the need for a process of due diligence means the schedule would be extremely tight.

Benitez, who readily admits he does not know what he will have to spend at the turn of the year, has been linked with a number of potential signings in recent days, with Newcastle’s scouting network having been busily watching possible targets.

A scouting delegation watched Turkey’s 3-0 loss to Iceland last week, with Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun understood to have been the focus of their attention.

Crystal Palace had a £12m bid for Tosun rejected in the summer, and the Eagles remain interested in the 26-year-old as they look to haul themselves away from the foot of the Premier League table.

Valencia, Tottenham and Inter Milan have also watched Tosun in the last few weeks, and it remains to be seen whether Benitez will be able to match any alternative offers if he opts to step up his interest in January.

The Magpies manager is also interested in Danny Ings, having investigated the possibility of a loan deal for the Liverpool forward in the summer, and Belgian midfielder Dennis Praet, who was also the subject of strong interest from Tyneside in the close season.

Meanwhile, Benitez insists summer signing Jacob Murphy still has a bright future as a Newcastle player despite his failure to cement a place in the first team.

Murphy’s only Premier League start came in the 1-0 win over Swansea City, and he is set to remain on the substitutes’ bench for Sunday’s trip to Southampton provided Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu are both passed fit.

The 22-year-old was Newcastle’s most expensive summer signing, but while his Magpies career has not gone to plan so far, Benitez is confident he will prove his worth eventually.

“You go to Jacob Murphy,” said the Newcastle boss. “He is another one who is a young player, who trains well, trains in another way. He has Atsu and Ritchie playing well, so he needs some time to make sure he will be fine.