Newcastle have lodged a loan bid with three January targets in their sights, according to Wednesday’s papers.
Rafa Benitez has entered the running to sign highly-rated Atletico Madrid winger Gelson Martins, according to AS.
Benitez, who on Tuesday was reported to be ready to leave the club at the end of the season if he was not backed in the transfer market, is understood to have launched a loan bid of between £3.5m and £4.3m.
The Spanish source also claim the Magpies are frontrunners to land the 23-year-old, with their rivals – Arsenal and Monaco – enduring internal problems.
Martins was highly sort after in the summer and moved to Atletico from Sporting on a free transfer, but his move has turned sour and he has managed just one LaLiga start and Atletico are happy to loan him out.
The Daily Mirror remain insistent that Paraguay playmaker Miguel Almiron is Benitez’s top target. It’s understood United have an offer on the table for the Atlanta United No. 10 but it’s not believed to be anywhere near the £30m the MLS club are wanting.
Meanwhile, Gianluca di Marzio claims Newcastle are talking to Monaco about Italian defender Antonio Barreca.
Barreca, 23, impressed in Italy with Torino and transferred to Monaco last summer, but he has made just seven starts in Ligue 1 and Thierry Henry is ready to offload the left-sided player.
Benitez is hopeful of making additions to his squad this month, with The Independent claiming the Spanish boss would walk away from the club in the summer if he did not get any new players this month.