Newcastle retain hopes of bolstering their midfield with the addition of a Benfica playmaker, though the move has been put on hold for one rather predictable reason.
Rafa Silva is the man in question, with the 26-year-old seemingly coming to the end of his time in Lisbon.
Silva – who was once upon a time a target for Tottenham and Man Utd – has been capable a performer while at the Estadio da Luz, contributing 35 goals and 20 assists in all competitions for Benfica over the last four seasons.
However, Silva’s gametime has been severely restricted in the current campaign, leaving the door ajar to potential suitors to swoop in should their offer meet Benfica’s demands.
British newspaper the Sun report that Newcastle are one such interested party, and were ‘working on a project to land Silva’ prior to football’s hiatus.
The Portuguese side reportedly hoped to receive £25m for the dynamic star, but Newcastle were confident of being able to snap up their target for a fee closer to the £15m mark.
Silva is described as looking ‘ideal for the Premier League,’ though predictably, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works.
Newcastle are said to have wished to see the player in action more before pulling the trigger on the move, while the widescale disruption caused by the pandemic has thrown into question their ability to be able to muster the financial might required to complete the deal.
Meanwhile, a Magpies January target who snubbed the chance to become the club’s record signing has emerged as a top target for Liverpool.
Despite rejecting Newcastle, the 21-year-old retains a desire to play in the Premier League, with Manchester United and Liverpool mentioned as possible destinations.
And while Newcastle are reported to be keeping a watching brief, it seems they have taken a backwards seat after reports claimed league leaders Liverpool have already opened talks over the potential signing of the midfielder.