According to a story by the Telegraph, Rafa Benitez is keen on bringing Las Palmas playmaker Jonathan Viera to Newcastle this month – however the Spanish midfielder is valued at almost £18m by the La Liga side and is said to be attracting interest from ‘several other’ top flight teams.
Jason Burt’s piece in the Telegraph states that we and Burnley are the two teams showing a keen interest at this stage, also suggesting that this is not the first time Benitez has shown his interest – with the 28-year-old believed to be a player we looked at over the summer.
Whether this one is true or not is up for debate (like any rumours at this time of year), but there’s no denying that we are in dire need of a natural number 10 and Viera may just be that man.
He can operate out wide but has predominantly played in the playmaker role for La Liga side Las Palmas over the past few seasons. With 7 goals and 9 assists last season and 10 goals and 8 assists the year before, his performances in Spain have recently given him his first call up to the national side.
It’s a plausible story, although the big issue I and so many others will have is the fee that’s mentioned here. Las Palmas’ valuation is understood to be “around €20m” according to the Telegraph (which is just under £18m. As we’ve seen with former target Cenk Tosun heading to Everton for £27m, it seems so unlikely that Ashley will pay these kind of fees this month.
We shall see. It seems likely that Benitez will be scouring Spain for a player to pull the strings in the hole for NUFC, but signing a player of Viera’s alleged price and calibre seems quite unlikely right now.
Here’s an impressive compilation of him in action in La Liga: