It was widely reported that Newcastle United made an ‘attempt’ to sign Belgian midfielder Dennis Praet in the closing stages of the summer transfer window, however the Sampdoria star has admitted that whilst he did not want to leave the Italians at the time, he would like to play in the Premier League ‘one day’.
Several reports on the Continent suggested Newcastle had seen bids rejected for the former Anderlecht midfielder, with North-East reports closer to home having confirmed he was a target of Benitez’s.
Like so many over the summer, a deal didn’t materialise and the Serie A star has since spoken out on the rumours in an interview in his homeland this week:
“I didn’t want to leave. I thought something would have changed here, I thought the manager would have given me a new role.
“I know Sampdoria received some offers for me but I did’t even talk with any other club as there was no agreement between them.
“I am grateful to Sampdoria and I want to replay their trust scoring goals and making assists.
“I’ve never played in the Premier League but I’d be happy to go there one day.”
It sounds like Praet was in no rush to leave the Italian side, having confirmed that his club received offers, but none that were deemed acceptable to allow him to leave.
Interestingly, his final line suggests he would be open to the possibility of a move to Newcastle in the future, claiming he is keen to play in the Premier League ‘one day’.
For now he sounds committed to Sampdoria, but as Benitez is believed to be an admirer, with Newcastle on the look out for creative midfielders and Praet open to a Premier League move, this could be one to watch in the coming windows if we reignite our interest.
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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.