According to reports in Portugal, contract talks between Benfica and long-term Newcastle target Andreas Samaris have ‘stalled’ – meaning the he looks set to be available on a free this summer.
The Greek midfielder was believed to be closing in on a move to St James’ Park in January, with Benitez’s interest in the defensive midfielder dating back to the summer we were promoted in 2017.
A £17m move was once reported by the Mirror two years ago, so the fact the 29-year-old looks set to be available on a free could see him become a highly appealing option for both Benitez and the club – especially when fellow defensive midfielders Mo Diame and Isaac Hayden look likely to leave this summer.
Portuguese outlet A Bola claim that Samaris was asking for €1.5m per-season during contract talks with Benfica, but their refusal to offer over €1m is believed to have seen talks ‘stall’.
It also looks like we’ve been keeping an eye on him since a January move collapsed, with it being revealed that we had a scout watching his Europa League quarter-final clash with Frankfurt earlier this month:
Any deal for Samaris may be dependant on Benitez’s future, but this deal is very much a ‘one to watch’ this summer should Rafa stay.