The signing of Ki came out of nowhere and, if this story is to be believed, it sounds like he may now attempt to strike while the iron is hot.
It’s clear that Rafa wants to bring Kenedy back to Tyneside after his successful loan stint last season, whilst Red Bull Salzburg playmaker is someone we’ve been scouting for the last 18 months by all counts – with the man himself admitting just last week that we are ‘very interested’ in signing him.
Here’s a snippet from the Telegraph’s latest piece on Rafa transfer plans:
“Benítez is hoping to sign Chelsea’s Brazilian winger Kenedy on a long-term contract deal after a successful loan spell last season and is also keen on Red Bull Salzburg playmaker Valon Berisha.
“The pair are likely to cost at least £35m, which will use up a huge chunk of his transfer kitty. However, the Magpies are looking to raise another £20m with the sale of Serbia international Aleksandar Mitrovic to newly-promoted Fulham.
“Benítez is also weighing up whether to listen to offers for Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie, although at the moment he is reluctant to lose two players who have been integral to the team’s success over the last two seasons.”
A move for the two would be exciting, but £35m seems a lot for these two and unlikely – especially when Lazio were believed to have agreed a £7m fee to sign Berisha recently (something that puts his potential move to Newcastle in doubt in itself).
If Berisha is available for £7m, it suggests Chelsea are valuing Kenedy at £28m – a fee we just wouldn’t pay, with Ashley’s biggest purchase so far being Gini Wijnaldum for half of that.
Selling the likes of Mitrovic may raise £20m, but isn’t that money that will then go towards a striker?
I’d love to see Kenedy and Berisha sign – they’re two players who could transform us in attack – but i’d be surprised if Ashley handed Rafa an alleged £35m to sign them both.