Newcastle United have reportedly had a loan plus purchase bid for Sporting midfielder Matheus Nunes turned down by the Portuguese club.
The 22-year-old is no more than a fringe player with Verde e brancos. However, manager Ruben Amorim wants to keep him at the club until at least the end of the season.
Portuguese newspaper O Jogo are claiming that the Magpies were looking for an initial loan deal. The report adds that there would have been an obligation to purchase outright for £10m.
But Sporting are refusing to play ball and will straight bat any offers for the youngster.
Having started his career with Estoril, Nunes moved to Estadio Jose Alvalade in January 2019. He made nine starts among 10 appearances in 2019-2020 but did not find the target.
However, he has put that right this term, opening his account against Sporting Braga on January 2 this year. The Brazilian has enjoyed five starts among 13 outings in the league and continues to be just a squad player.
It seems as though he might have seen more game time at St James’ Park but it is not to be. There is still time for things to change but the outlet claim Sporting are ‘closing the door to any departure at this stage of the season’.
Tough times in the north east
Although Newcastle are well clear of the relegation zone, that is more to do with the failings of the bottom three. The men in black and white have taken just two points from their last eight matches to sit 16th in the table.
Steve Bruce’s side are still seven points above the drop zone as Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham struggle. Should one of those teams find some form then there is every reason to suggest the Tynesiders could easily be dragged into a relegation scrap.
Pressure is mounting on the manager and they face a huge clash with Leeds United on Tuesday night. The Whites have lost their last two but are safely in mid table, with 23 points to their name.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa had some words of encouragement for his Newcastle counterpart ahead of the match.
“All teams have highs and lows,” he said. “There are teams who have had bigger injury problems and those who have had to suffer because Covid affects them a lot more than others.
“This has an influence in the succession of the results and the games.”
Victory on their own patch would give the Magpies a huge lift, especially with West Brom facing Manchester City.
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