According to the Chronicle, Newcastle will be offered the chance to sign former left-back target Diego Laxalt if he stays at St James’ Park this summer.
The 26-year-old made a £12.5m move to AC Milan under 12 months ago but has struggled to nail down a regular first-team spot during his debut season at the San Siro.
That said, he was hugely impressive in Uruguay’s run to the World Cup quarter finals last summer and it’s reported here that the long-hard left wing-back was on Benitez’s wanted list in January – only for talks to break down due to Milan’s hefty asking pice.
Here’s what the Chronicle have now had to say about Laxalt, claiming we’ll be offered the chance to sign him this summer:
‘Newcastle United will be offered the chance to sign AC Milan left-back Diego Laxalt this summer.
‘The Magpies are in the market for a new left-back and the Uruguay international was on Rafa Benitez’s wanted list in January before talks crumbled at an early stage due to Milan’s asking price.
‘Laxalt, who arrived at the San Siro from Genoa last summer, promised to knuckle down and fight for his place, but he has been unable to impress Gennaro Gattuso.
‘Laxalt has made the starting XI in Serie A just six times for Milan this term.
‘Milan have already started their summer planning and Laxalt could also be punted in the direction of Atalanta, Lazio and AS Roma.
‘Benitez made it clear to his scouts at a recent recruitment summit at the training ground that he will want a new left-back if he stays on as boss next season.’
Two traits of Laxalt’s that could really appeal to Rafa is both his pace and versatility – with him able to operate as a left wing-back or left winger.
With Rafa’s new system in mind, he would be someone able to give Matt Ritchie competition – something Rafa will crave given our total lack of naturally left-sided wing-backs.
Here’s him in action: