We had mentioned yesterday that Newcastle would need to bring in another striker in the January transfer window since it’s getting obvious in the first few games that we don’t have enough players who can put the ball in the back of the net.
And with both Paul Dummett and Sadio Haidara being out injured and both tending to pick up a lot of injuries in their careers we also need a specialist left back brought in.
We mentioned Matt Targett of Southampton could be a good loan target in January and Rafa could then judge over half a season whether he should buy him in the summer.
So we were aware of those two positions that need strengthening, but the Chronicle are reporting today Rafa also wants a creative central midfielder brought in.
We were after such a player in the summer, but to an extent, Mikel Merino can fill that void, but it seems Rafa wants another central midfielder brought in.
In the summer Rafa wanted Dennis Praet from Sampdoria, and there was even news a deal had been agreed.
But the Italian club wouldn’t sell because they couldn’t replace the player in the time available.
We should remember Praet was a boy wonder in Belgium just a few years ago and Rafa obviously sees the potential in the 23-year-old.
Dennis Praet – Sampdoria midfielder
Everton were also credited with an interest in the creative midfielder.
In late August Italian journalist, Alfredo Pedulla reported that Newcastle were willing to pay Sampdoria €20M (17.6M) for their midfielder.
That’s twice the €10M Sampdoria paid for the player in the summer of last year when they brought him from Anderlecht.
And Praet prefers a move to Newcastle over Everton because he wants to play for Rafa Benitez.
We reported this on August 30th:
Newcastle could well follow this up in January if no deal can be completed in the next couple of days, and it would give Sampdoria time to get a replacement through the door in January.
That’s still true today if Sampdoria can get a replacement in otherwise Dennis could be a big target for us this summer.