RAFA BENITEZ has accepted that he could be two strikers lighter even if he commits to a new deal as Newcastle United manager as the wait goes on for him to sign fresh terms.

While the Magpies have attacking targets to move on once it becomes clearer who will own the club beyond this summer, it is also increasingly likely that Joselu and Salomon Rondon will have played their last games on Tyneside.

The delay in Benitez penning a new deal has opened the door for other interested parties to move in for Rondon, and Fenerbahce are set for talks with the South American.

Spanish striker Joselu is also on the verge of moving back to his native homeland by securing a switch to Alaves, even though he is waiting for Benitez to give it the official go-ahead.

Rondon, who has also got strong interest in him from West Ham and Wolves, has seen his suitors grow in recent months after his impressive loan at St James’ Park.

West Brom are still looking to sell him this summer and he has a clause in his contract that would see him leave for £16.5m if a club triggers it.

The Venezuelan international scored 11 goals last season during his loan stint and Newcastle are interested in re-signing him but there is a reluctance to pay that sum for a player who will be 30 next season.

Wolves and West Ham are weighing up paying that sort of fee, although Fenerbahce look set to swoop and the growing interest in him reduces the chances of him returning to Tyneside unless Newcastle agree to pay the hefty sum.

Rondon has admitted he would like to return to the North-East and wear the No 9 shirt but he has had to seriously consider alternative options given the stand-off over Benitez’s contract.

Reports in Turkey have suggested that Fenerbahce’s club director Damien Comolli will soon hold talks with Rondon's representative Juan Rodriguez.

If Rondon does not return and Joselu does get his Spain wish granted then Newcastle would be left without a recognised out-and-out striker.

Hoffenheim’s Brazilian Joelinton – rated in the £40m bracket – is at the top of Benitez’s wish-list and it is believed such a fee will be available for him to spend on a striker regardless of who owns the club.

Clearly if Sheikh Khaled’s bid to buy Newcastle from Mike Ashley is successful then there would be an expectancy for more money to be available, although the latter has still promised Benitez some money to spend if he signs an extension.

But Benitez believes Newcastle need to invest heavily in the squad and the club’s infrastructure to stand a real chance of establishing themselves back in the Premier League’s top ten.

And he knows that his squad will need more additions to it that just a new striker. If he was to give the green light for Joselu to return to Spain, then Newcastle will definitely need to buy a second striker too.

The 29-year-old was signed two years ago from Stoke City on a three-year deal for £5m but he is close to joining Alaves.

Joselu said recently: “I have possibilities to change (my team), but it will depend on the new direction that will come to the club. I have one year left on my contract at Newcastle."

Benitez would be happy for him to move to Alaves provided there is a replacement lined up, so it could be that Joselu has to wait for the manager’s own situation to be sorted out before he can complete his move away from St James’.

Benitez also knows that the striker department is not the only area of his squad in need of addressing.

Mo Diame’s imminent exit at the end of his deal is likely to be followed by the sales of Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden, which would significantly reduce the number of midfielders he has to call on too.