Rafa Benitez After Another Spanish Defender

The Daily Mail is reporting that Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez is after one of his former players again – this time it’s the Middlesbrough Spanish U21 center-back Daniel Ayala.

Rafa Benitez signed the youngster back in 2007 for Liverpool after Daniel had just turned down a contract offered by Sevilla.

The news is that Newcastle have enquired about the availability of the defender who has played 101 times for north-east club, but have been told it will cost a lot to sign the Spaniard.

daniel ayala

Daniel Ayala – massive fee asked by Middlesbrough

Daniel was in excellent form last season for Middlesbrough and manager Aitor Karanka will not want to lose one of his best players after just being promoted to the Premier League.

It will be interesting what The Smoggies would want for the 25 year-old and the Mail is reporting they have put a fee of £15M on the head of the 25 year-old, which is a way of saying they don’t want to sell him.

If Rafa thinks he’s that good then Newcastle could offer good money for him but £15M for somebody untested in the Premier League seems a lot.

And the news is the fee has put Newcastle off – which was Middlesbrough’s intention in the first place – and who can blame them?

Rafa has been given cash to bring in new players this summer, with Rafa said to be wanting about five or six new players in the squad.

And any player he does sell this summer, he can use that cash to buy players with.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

28 comments so far


    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    Comment #1

    move on not worth that much

  • geordie157

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #2

    Dunk seems a much better option. Reece Burke is also with signing up.

    With Stuttgart relegated could timo werner be worth a look, a few seasons ago he was dubbed the next big thing in German football, seems to have lost his way a little and has taken things a bit for granted. However huge talent and rafa can surely get him fulfilling that potential.

    I expect spurs may take a chance on him as they were strongly linked last summer.

  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:38 PM

    Comment #3

    Summer speculation. Such a joyous time of year.

    Not sure we should take much notice of what the Mails valuation is, or even what the valuation is reported to be.

    It’ll be interesting to see the plans unfold.

    Anyway, anyone seen much of this player?

  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #4

    Ibiza…….I’d rather leave it now. This Armstrong issue is dividing opinion and proving rather sensitive.

  • AncientC

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    Comment #5


    It looks like Michu is a free agent on the 30th of June, unless the contract agreement is with a loan club, either way, he may be available.

    Michu was talking about Rafa in the media last month.

    “In Naples unfortunately I didn’t play very much, but I was very lucky to be able to see how the phenomenal Rafa Benitez worked.”

    “He is totally focused on football and makes his ideas very clear and easy for the team and individuals to understand.”

    Michu could be the perfect replacement for Siem De Jong if he leaves.

  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:48 PM

    Comment #6

    Betty…I thought it was a Townsend issue?

    All for leaving it. I presume that means not constantly referencing what a naughty boy you think Rotonda is then?

    I would say though, blogs and the internet in general are known for divided opinion. It’s kind of what makes it interesting…surely?

  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:51 PM

    Comment #7

    Ancient C…Always wondered what happened to him. Seemed to do so well at Swansea and then disappeared (not that I was looking closely mind).

    I’d also be wary as to why he didn’t play that much under Rafa at Napoli.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:54 PM

    Comment #8

    Michu? Not sure he has the energy and effort levels required for the Championship. Only 2 good seasons in his entire career as well. Not for me, surely there are better players available who will be better suited to the Championship and have more potential growth in them to perform next season as well.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    Comment #9

    Did Michu not only end up at a Spanish third or lower tier club because some relative helped him get a deal? There is a rabbit off somewhere with that lad, given his rapid fall from grace so I’d steer well clear.

  • AncientC

    Jun 6, 2016 at 9:57 PM

    Comment #10

    Ibiza, Michu has had some injury problems apparently, but could very much be a rough diamond. If would be worth the club’s time to at least see if they can get him to come train for a few weeks.

    Michu has never relied on pace, and he certainly knows where there goal is. Maybe worth a punt if we have squad places opening up.

  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #11

    Ancient / Lil…I recall something about a lower league team in Spain. Something about trying to rebuild his career. Can’t recall if it was to do with injuries, confidence or both though.

    I suppose it doesn’t hurt to look, although I would have thought / hoped that we wouldn’t need to be making particularly risky signings.

  • AncientC

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #12

    Lilongwe, yes, there are a few things that do not add up with Michu’s career path. It would be a shame if his top flight career was over at only 30.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    Comment #13

    Injury problems would in part explain his very rapid demise, but it has been a very big fall in level he is playing at. How has he done in the Spanish 4th tier?

  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #14

    Lil…4th tier? There’s going back to basics, then there’s that.

    It would appear to be a huge risk, but that is based on a fair bit of assumption on my part.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:06 PM

    Comment #15

    His top flight career has only yielded 92 games over 9 years though.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #16

    Yeah, apparently. One to avoid I think.

  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Comment #17

    Ibiza……. Absolutely. A difference of opinion and a bit of controversy keeps life interesting.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #18

    Townsend to Palace, for 10.5M. Wage of 80,000. I find that second bit unlikely for a start.

  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #19

    Lil…It would seem so. 10 games a year? Makes some of our sick notes look reliable.

    Betty…I 100% disagree (to keep things interesting).

    YCMIU…Is there a Newcastle player or previous target that Palace haven’t been linked with since Pardew joined them? Not sure why the wages would be a problem though. All PL clubs have a huge pile of cash to play with these days.

    Well, food time for me. Until next time.

  • AncientC

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #20

    I am not claiming we should go out and snap up Michu, but he may be work a look over. I am curious if he is truly finished. He wouldn’t cost much, if anything on a pay as you play deal. No big risks involved…

    His passing, hold up play and ability to hit the back of the net were probably his greatest attributes… it’s not like he ever relied on a burst of pace or his dribbling…

    Unless there is something psychologically off with the guy, I see no reason why he could not be coaxed back into showing some form again; so long as he got the correct coaching & his fitness levels up.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #21


    I just think it would unbalance thier squad harmony. They can’t have many other players on wages like that.

  • Yo-yo

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #22

    Build from the back seems to be Rafa’s priority. This guy is way over valued though, when you compare with Virgil.

    Lascelles started to show what he can do and Mbemba did develop over the season, so we already have some potential, for a change.
    Although I like Janmatt, it seems he just ain’t committed to the club – and that has to be the number one reason for moving him on. Same with Wini, and any of the rest.

    What is going on with Townsend ? Will he stay or will he go ?
    If he decides to stay I’ll be chuffed – he almost did enough to earn his Euro place, and though some guys on here were very suspicious when he signed (and that’s putting it nicely) he really did surprise all of us.

  • Novocastrian66

    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #23

    According to the Daily Mirror tonight, Townsend has decided to stay at Newcastle.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jun 6, 2016 at 11:07 PM

    Comment #25

    Thats great news.

  • simon376

    Jun 6, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    Comment #26

    Beat me to it Novocastrian

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Jun 6, 2016 at 11:12 PM

    Comment #27


    The people who said Townsend would be no good have all put thier hands up and admitted they were wrong, and are understandably pleasantly surprised. Those of us who thought he was definitely worth the risk are vindicated, but I’m not going to hound people who against it. It’s not required. Im not saying you are doing that, by the way, but others are being a bit silly about it.

  • davis_toons

    Jun 7, 2016 at 3:24 AM

    Comment #28

    Simply give Jonjo Shelvey wages to Andros Townsend.

    The better player and most useful and utilise player should be offer more.

    Isn’t that simple.

    In this club with all biases, even David Silva one of most creative player on earth will even get lesser pay than Shelvey under this club.

    The old question is how on earth did he get a highest wages in Newcastle (top pay) after being sidelined by Swansea. (…he was looking for a way out of the club remember?)

    Quickly Offload him at a cut price to reduce the wages bill and bring in some talented youth that is willing to work hard and we never know. (maybe we could discover a Vieira look alike, a Micheal Owen or any player in any departments)

    The chances is that these talented youth will have sell on value and there will be clubs waiting for them.


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