Rafa Benitez is plotting a double swoop for Manchester City duo Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala to kick-start his £100million revamp of Newcastle United this summer according to the Daily Mail.
Following a positive meeting with the United board this week, it was announced last night that Benitez would remain on Tyneside, with Mike Ashley vowing to give him ‘every last penny’ to ensure Newcastle can compete on their return to the Premier League next season.
The Daily Mail understands that Benitez has been eyeing summer targets in recent weeks and has held discussions with Manchester City’s Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, over possible moves for Brazil midfielder Fernando and French centre-back, Eliaquim Mangala.
Fernando, 29, is a tough tackling defensive midfielder who has featured just 12 times for City this season. The Brazilian does not appear to be a part of Pep Guardiola’s plans and could look for pastures new this summer.
With Newcastle’s midfield lacking experience, Fernando’s guile and know how wouldn’t go amiss.
Now to Mangala. The athletic 26 year-old centre-back joined City for a whopping £32m from Porto in the summer of 2014, but has failed to live up the hype during his time in Manchester. He has spent this season on-loan at Valencia and has impressed during his time in Spain, but looks set to be sold this summer as part of Guardiola’s overhaul at the Etihad.
The French international looked unconvincing in his opening stint in the Premier League, but, if available at a knock-down price, he may be a player who could re-find his best form under the watchful eye of Rafa Benitez.
It remains to be seen as to whether such rumours are true, but these could be two players worth taking a punt on this summer.