Jorge Jesus signed on as manager of Sporting Lisbon last June and has let it be known that he is very interested in signing Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, but knows that will be almost impossible.
It’s reported in the Portuguese newspaper Record, that Jesus thinks the 21 year-old powerful striker would be the perfect replacement for Islam Slimani, who is expected to leave this summer.
It’s interesting that Newcastle were linked with Slimani both last summer and in January, but we dithered around too much on trying to sign a proven goalscorer – and didn’t.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – Sporting keen on striker
Rafa Benítez may sell one or two of his star players this summer – but only those he wants to leave the club – and he will ask big fees for those who are allowed to leave.
The price on Mitrovic will be a lot higher than the £13M we paid Anderlecht for him in the summer, after he hit 9 goals in the Premier League last season in a struggling Newcastle side.
If the fee wouldn’t be a problem for Sporting Lisbon then Aleksandar’s wages would be – and he is said to earn more than Sporting’s highest paid player.
The Record contacted Mitrovic directly regarding the Sporting interest in him and this is how Mitro responded to the paper:
“I have four more years of contract with Newcastle and I haven’t received any official approach so far. I’m happy in England, of course.”
“But it’s always good to see my name linked to a club like Sporting. It’s a big club.”
“If something comes up they will always have to talk with Newcastle first, and only then with me and with my representative.”
Mitrovic has already said he has no plans at all to leave Newcastle – his dream club – but he will need to improve his discipline next season.
He was sent off in the last game of the season against Tottenham – and that was after scoring with a brilliant header to send Newcastle 2-0 up in the first half.
He will now miss the first four games of next season, because he was also sent off against Arsenal early in the season.
While Mitro is still maturing, Rafa Benitez doesn’t appreciate players who can put the side in jeopardy and the manager was none too pleased with the 21 year-old being sent off against Tottenham.
Mitro has almost unlimited potential and we hope that Benitez can get the very best out of the powerful and still very young center forward.