According to German publication ‘Kicker’, Newcastle United have made an approach to sign Mainz striker Yoshinori Muto.
The story claims that NUFC officials have been watching the Japanese international throughout the season and have now made an official approach, enquiring about his availability this summer.
Muto, 25, has 9 goals and 3 assists in 26 games for Bundesliga side Mainz this season, having scored 6 in 21 last season and 7 in 21 the season before (his debut season in Germany).
Kicker claim that the striker is ‘desperate’ to follow in the footsteps of former Mainz striker Shinji Okazaki, who also played for Mainz prior to his £7.5m move to the Premier League with Leicester City in 2015.
A slightly left-field transfer rumour given his fairly ordinary goalscoring record, although it was confirmed by the Chronicle in January that Benitez had been tracking players in the Bundesliga, so who knows.
He’ll no doubt be a player few of us are familiar with, so here’s some clips of him in action for Mainz: