Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has lots of connections in Spain and is told about the good up-and-coming youngsters who are coming through at all levels of the game in his home country.
And there have been various reports in the Spanish press over the last 24 hours that we have reached an agreement to sign 17 year-old striker Juan Jesús Nunez Cumbrera – also known simply as Juanito – from third division club Recreativo de Huelva.
Rafa Benitez and coaches at Newcastle
There are at least two known references to the deal – one is on the web-site futbol.as, which states that the promising young player will join Newcastle and will start to train in the Reserves side – presumably that’s with Peter Beardsley’s Development Group.
At 17 that’s even a step up from the usual team he would play for – the Newcastle U18 side.
They report the player is being sold because of the poor financial position of the club, but that the new Directors at the club will try to keep their young players in the future.
The other web-site we know of reporting the deal is Albiazules, a fan website.
The third division side have already let David Afonso leave for Barcelona and Adri leave for Cadiz CF this season, so their fans are not too happy they are also losing Juanito to Newcastle.
Rafa Benitez is keen to bring in players who are ready to challenge for a first team spot at the club.
But he is also on the lookout for top young players in Europe who Newcastle can bring in and coach to hopefully become first team players at Newcastle in the future.
It’s a policy that Mike Ashley started when Chris Mort was the Chairman back in January, 2008 but the club have been unsuccessful in bringing young players through to the first team and most of them have simply left the club.
With Rafa on board we are hoping the quality of young players brought into the club will subsequently improve and the policy can become a successful one.