Rafa Benitez Reported Keen On Austrian Teenage Striker

Newcastle seem keen on 18 year-old Empoli striker Arnel Jakupovic, who was at Middlesbrough for almost two years until last January when he moved to the Serie A club.

The report is in the Star that Rafa Benitez is keen to bring the teenager to Newcastle this summer.

Rafa will want to bring in players of all ages to Newcastle this summer, although his personal priority will be working with Managing Director Lee Charnley to build a Premier League side capable of competing in the top half of the table next season.

Arnel Jakupovic – 6ft 1ins Empoli striker

The Austrian U19 International striker is left footed and made his first team debut over the weekend and now has a contract at the Italian club through 2021.

So it looks like Newcastle are late on this one and probably should have signed Arnel when he was still at Middlesbrough.

That doesn’t say they cannot sign him now, the timing just seems off – always assuming the Star report is accurate.

Empoli will try to make a quick profit on the player and after paying £1M for him in January to Middlesbrough they are asking £6M for him now – they got to be kidding.

But maybe not.

After all Newcastle are a Premier League club now.


One of the things Rafa is likely to have gone through with owner Mike Ashley on Tuesday night during their four hour meeting is how he wants to bring in better quality young players, so it’s possible to bring them through to the first team eventually.

That all helps Newcastle be able to have strong teams in the future – if we can develop good young players of our own who are brought through the ranks.

That has not been true over the last ten years but Rafa seems determined to change that.

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