According to the Chronicle’s Chris Waugh, Rafa Benitez is trying to bring TWO defenders to Newcastle this summer – with the Spaniard keen to sign a new centre-back, full-back cover and ‘key striker target’ Salomon Rondon.
The story states Benitez wants up to FIVE new player signed between now and next month’s deadline, however it sounds like Mexican international Diego Reyes is ‘unlikely’ to sign.
Sky Sports confirmed our interest in the 25-year-old last night and although the Chronicle claim that he is a player who’s been discussed in transfer meetings, they reckon we’ll look elsewhere – with Fenerbahce favourites to sign him and Rafa ‘focusing on other targets’ at the moment’.
Here’s what the Chronicle have had to say on Rafa’s defensive plans
‘Benitez is still hoping to sign up to five further players this summer, including a right-back and a centre-back.
‘Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez does want defensive reinforcements – but a deal for free agent Diego Reyes is looking unlikely at this stage.
‘Fenerbahce are the favourites at this stage to sign the former Real Sociedad and Espanyol centre-back – and Newcastle are focusing on other targets at the moment.’
Finally, here’s what Chris Waugh’s had to say about Rafa’s interest in Rondon – claiming he is now the club’s ‘key striker target’ after missing out on Alassane Plea and rejecting the chance to re-sign Islam Slimani:
‘Benitez has made Rondon his key striker target, given that Alassane Plea joined Borussia Monchengladbach last week for £22million – £2m more than United are believed to have offered.
‘He is viewed by Benitez as a forward who would ideally suit his preferred 4-2-3-1 system.
‘During the final three weeks of the window, signing a proven top-flight centre-forward is Benitez’s priority – and the Spaniard has suggested it is a case of “when”, rather than “if”, a striker will arrive, and hopes to have a new attacker in place by the time United fly to Portugal in seven days’ time.’
Rafa may want five new signings – including Rondon and defensive cover – however what he wants and what he gets are very much two separate things.
Let’s hope the club pull their fingers out and start getting deals done.