Rafa Benitez has been interested in signing Greek defensive midfielder Andreas Samaris since late 2017 – according to our records.
At that time Benfica wanted £17M for him which was far too much for Mike Ashley to pay out, so nothing happened.
However, his contract at Benfica runs out in the summer when he will become a free agent.
Newcastle appeared to go all out to try to sign him last month on loan.
Portuguese outlet O Jogo have given more details on why the move for the Benfica midfielder did not end up on Tyneside.
The arrangement was that Benfica would get a loan fee of €300M and a sell-on clause for the player if Newcastle signed him in the summer and sold him in the future.
Newcastle would optionally offer Samaras a two-year deal this summer when he became a free agent.
Benfica rejected this arrangement very late in the game and said they would offer him a new contract to stay in Lisbon – but the player has yet to see a new deal from Benfica.
But it seems that Samaris is receptive to staying at the Lisbon club for two more years.
Nothing has yet been discussed about his new contract with Benfica, including his wages and the length of the proposed new contract.
Benfica irked Newcastle by pulling out of the proposed deal very late in last month’s transfer window.
They probably thought they would be losing too much money on the player who was worth close to £15M eighteen months ago.
If he signs any new deal at Benfica before the summer then the interest of Newcastle will be dead.
But if Samaris and his agent can get a better deal from Newcastle, maybe he will hold out until June, and we can sign him as a free agent at that time.
What do you think?