Rafa Benitez ‘keen’ to sign La Liga defender as new centre-back target emerges

It has been reported in The Times today that Rafa Benitez is keen to sign Eibar centre-back Florian Lejeune following his impressive season in La Liga.

The 26-year-old is also believed to be capable of playing as a holding midfielder and is rumoured to have a release clause of £8.7m in his contract.

Lejeune joined Manchester City in 2015 but was immediately loaned back to Spanish second division side Girona. In the end he failed to make a single appearance at the Etihad, being sold to Eibar last summer for £1.2m.

Since then the Frenchman has enjoyed a successful campaign in Spain, leading Eibar to a top half finish in La Liga, with his performances seeing him linked with moves to Arsenal and Tottenham in recent months.

The 6ft 3 defender is said to be strong in the air and composed on the ground, and if the latest rumours are be to believed, Rafa Benitez could hand him another chance in English football this summer.

With Mangala, Maguire, Semedo, Shawcross and Simunovic just five of several centre-backs linked to the club already this summer, it appears clear that Benitez is targeting defensive reinforcements this summer and Lejeune is the latest name to add to that every expanding list.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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