You may remember a few weeks ago that a Northern Echo exclusive claimed Frankfurt’s Sebastien Haller was Rafa’s top January target- and the striker has given a mixed response when it comes to our hopes of signing him.
The 24-year-old Frenchman has been scoring goals for fun in the Bundesliga this season and has been attracting interest from around Europe, with him being a player Benitez appears to have been tracking since his time in Holland with FC Utrecht.
When asked about moving to England following recent links with Newcastle United, here’s what he’s said:
” Maybe never or maybe in two months, it depends on the possibilities that arise.”
This seems to be a very cagey response and doesn’t really give much away – suggesting that he either doesn’t know where his future lies, or he is keeping his cards very close to his chest. Perhaps he’s saying he’ll only move if a big club comes knocking..
Here’s what else he had to say:
“I would never go to the Premier League just to play there. It has to make sense to me. And it has to be the right time for me.
“What I definitely know at the moment: I’m in Frankfurt – and here I feel very good. The Europa League also contributes to this. She has already given me great moments and memories.”
Taking into consideration the other clubs that may be interested in him, his current form and his expected high transfer fee, this one seems highly unlikely to me.
Frankfurt will likely demand in excess of £20m fee and it wouldn’t make sense for him to leave a high flying club in Germany competing in Europe to a team that could possibly be deep in a relegation battle.
Unfortunately, to get a top class striker, you have to pay big bucks – and we all know Mike Ashley will not do that.
It looks to me like we will have to look at loan deals from clubs around Europe as we have already filled our domestic quota with Rondon and Kenedy – or cut price deals on strikers that are out of contract at the end of the season.
Rafa will know doubt have many contacts and he may really have to use them to attract players in the winter window.