According to the Daily Star, Newcastle are weighing up a summer bid for CSKA Moscow right-back Mario Fernandes.
As ever, any transfer stories must be met with caution given Rafa’s future is still yet to be sorted, however I have my doubts about this one – even if we do desperately need a new first-team right-back.
Why? Because it’s claimed CSKA value Fernandes at £26m – a fee Mike Ashley is never going to pay given the Brazilian-born defender turns 29 in September.
Nevertheless, here’s a snippet from Paul Brown’s piece for the Daily Star:
‘Newcastle are weighing up a bid for £26.4m-rated CSKA Moscow right back Mario Fernandes this summer.
‘The Brazil-born defender was part of the Russian national team at the last World Cup after Vladimir Putin granted him a passport via a Presidential decree.
‘An attacking full back, Fernandes has played 34 times for CSKA this season, scoring once and racking up nine assists.
‘And with Newcastle looking to beef up on the flanks of their defence, he has emerged as the latest of several candidates being looked at.
‘Newcastle believe a deal can be done to bring him to the Premier League.
‘With the future of Rafa Benitez no clearer, Newcastle’s summer recruitment strategy remains in limbo, but the club are continuing to explore a variety of options.
‘Right back DeAndre Yedlin has struggled at times this season, while Javier Manquillo is only considered a squad player, and Benitez is looking for an upgrade.
‘The Spaniard is hoping to receive the backing he craves from owner Mike Ashley as the pair continue to spar over the future of Newcastle.’
Fernandes bagged 9 assists and 1 goal in 34 appearances for CSKA this season and was also a part of the Russian side that made the World Cup quarter-finals last summer.
The 28-year-old has played in Russia for almost 7 years now following a £9.5m move from Gremio in 2012, so he may well be open to testing himself in one of Europe’s top leagues, however I just can’t see this one happening if CSKA’s asking price is anything close to £26m.
Here’s him in action: