According to the Northern Echo’s Paul Fraser, Rafa Benitez is a long-term admirer of Adama Traore and is ‘considering’ a move for the Middlesbrough winger after his hopes of signing Kenedy on a permanent deal have ‘receded’.
The report claims that Benitez is desperate to add pace to his side this summer and reveals that the Spaniard has actually made attempts to sign the former Barcelona youngster over the last two transfer windows.
One issue highlighted is the potential price tag, however, with his rise to form last season (5 goals, 12 assists and player of the season) leaving Boro set demand more than £15m – the price we could’ve had him for this time last season by all accounts.
Here’s a snippet from Paul Fraser’s latest piece for The Echo:
“NEWCASTLE UNITED have joined the growing list of clubs keen on signing Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore this summer – even though his valuation has soared in recent months.
“Boro’s failure to climb into the Premier League has put a number of top-flight clubs on alert, including the Magpies.
“Rafael Benitez is keen to add pace to his Newcastle team and Traore is an option he is considering, particularly at a time when the chances of landing Kenedy from Chelsea on a permanent basis are receding.
“Benitez has admired the Middlesbrough talent for a while, having shown an interest last summer and in January following Boro’s relegation to the Championship.”
This link just isn’t going away and it’s bound to divide opinion. Some think Traore has ridiculous potential when watching his pace, power and ability to beat a man, while others see past that and seriously question his final ball and ‘footballing brain’ (or lack of it).
I must admit, I fall into the former category. He’s not yet the finished article and is still raw (although he’d be playing for Barcelona still if he wasn’t!), but if he can play as well as he did last season under Tony Pulis, I’d love to see how he could develop under Rafa Benitez.
It’d be a real shame to miss out on Kenedy, with that being the troubling news coming from this story, however the prospect of Kenedy on loan and Traore on a permanent deal would be an exciting one – however I do fear Boro’s valuation will price us out of any deal.
ADAMA TRAORE 2017/18 HIGHLIGHTS.
The kid has been on fire this season. ? pic.twitter.com/rxN41DbpSS
— Teddy. (@TeddyMunene) June 2, 2018