BBC Newcastle reporter confirms TWO deals Rafa still wants done – Also denies interest in duo

According to BBC Newcastle’s Matthew Raisbeck, we have NOT agreed a deal to sign Sikou Niakite and aren’t interested in Harry Arter – also confirming that Rafa Benitez still wants a centre-back and a left-back before tomorrow’s 5pm deadline.

It emerged from France this morning that we’d ‘agreed’ terms to sign young Valenciennes defender Sikou Niakite, however both BBC Newcastle and The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder have swiftly poured cold water on those claims.

The Sun also suggested that we were one of several clubs keen on Bournemouth’s Harry Arter late last night, but Matthew Raisbeck insists that he is NOT a player Benitez is looking to sign before tomorrow’s deadline:

Two players he clearly is in the market for is a left-back and a centre-back, however.

A deal for PSG’s left-back Stanley N’Soki looks like it may be dead – with him ‘rejecting’ an offer from NUFC yesterday – whilst former target Joe Bryan looks set to seal a £6m move to Aston Villa today.

Benitez’s interest in Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico has been confirmed by The Chronicle, however they’ve suggested that an £8m fee (plus agent/commission costs) could prove to be a ‘stumbling block’, somehow!

On to centre-backs and your guess is as good as mine. Diego Reyes is still available on a free (Sky confirmed our interest just a few weeks ago) and it looks like we’re also considering Swansea’s Federico Fernandez – although Swansea seem to be demanding a fee we’re not prepared to pay.

With little over 24 hours to go, the clock is ticking and our hopes of signing both a left-back AND a centre-back are fading fast.

There’s still time for Rafa to use his contacts and pull a rabbit out of the hat, but getting Ashley to sanction the deal and Charnley to get it ‘over the line’ is another matter entirely.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at & we’ll get back to you!)

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.

2 thoughts on “BBC Newcastle reporter confirms TWO deals Rafa still wants done – Also denies interest in duo

  1. Fede Fernández (Swansea), Nicolás Tagliafico (Ajax) and Thiago Maia (Lille) would be excellent signings.


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