Door swings ‘open’ for £30m creative spark to transform Newcastle attack

Date published: Monday 28th June 2021 3:41 - Steve Pearson

Rafa Silva Emre Can Toni Kross, Portugal v Germany, Euro 2020

Benfica are ‘open’ to selling a Portuguese playmaker linked with a £30m move to Newcastle over the weekend, according to a report.

Newcastle secured a respectable 12th-placed finish last season, though for long periods of the campaign, their outlook appeared bleak. A late season surge helped settle the nerves, but to avoid such a rollercoaster season next year, Steve Bruce will be looking to dip into the transfer market.

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The Magpies’ attack relied heavily upon the timely finishing of Callum Wilson and the pace and trickery of Allan Saint-Maximin.

To help relieve the pressure on that duo, reports over the weekend put Newcastle in the frame for a talented playmaker.

HITC (citing the Sunday Mirror) revealed that Benfica’s Rafa Silva was a potential target. Indicating how strong their interest was, Newcastle were labelled ‘top’ of the clubs chasing his signature.

The 28-year-old is capable of operating on either side of the midfield or in the No. 10 role. Last season he notched nine goals and 10 assists across all competitions. He has also featured regularly in his national side’s squads over the last seven years.

Silva holds a lofty €80m release clause within his contract, though a figure of around £30m is expected to twist Benfica’s arm.

Now, Portuguese outlet A Bola has picked up on the reports and detailed Benfica’s perspective on the links.

Via Sport Witness, they note that Benfica are indeed ‘open’ to moving Silva on this summer. Furthermore, he is considered one of their best options to recoup a significant fee.

‘Approaches’ for the creative force are confirmed, though from which clubs in particular is not stated.

Whether Newcastle will act upon their interest remains to be seen. A second Portuguese publication, Record, note that Newcastle’s links with Silva have dated back years.

£20m could seal Newcastle transfer after rivals rebuffed

Meanwhile, Newcastle United have been given a lifeline in their chase for Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer and now know the entry level for any possible bids.

Norway boss Stale Solbakken seemed to push for his Celtic departure in March with Ajer in the final year of his Hoops contract, leading to links with Newcastle over the Spring.

“He has to change league now,” he said at the time. “He must. Ajer does not have enough challenges in everyday life there.”

Norwich City will ply their trade in the top flight next term after securing promotion from the Championship. And they have reportedly already bid £10m for the former Start stopper.

German club Bayer Leverkusen are said to have offered the same amount but both have been knocked back by the Glaswegians. Instead, a figure of £20m may get the job done after that figure was mooted when Tottenham showed an interest.

READ MORE: Tottenham in talks for versatile defender wanted by Everton, Newcastle

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