In the final few days of the January transfer window, Newcastle did a lot of work to bring in four or five players.
We only ended up with two – Miguel Almiron and Antonio Barreca – but it could be that deals have already been agreed or provisionally agreed to bring some of the other players to Newcastle in the summer.
One player we missed out on was 29-year-old Benfica’s Greek defensive midfielder Andreas Samaris, and Newcastle thought they had agreed to a loan deal for him for the rest of the season.
Samaris’ contract at the Portuguese powerhouse is up in the summer, and he will become a free agent.
Andreas Samaris – free agent in the summer
Rafa has been keen on the player for 18 months, and he could become one of Rafa’s cheap (bargain?) buys this summer.
The Record is reporting that at the last moment Samaris had doubts about the deal because the offer from Newcastle had lots of incentives and conditions in it.
The Newcastle offer was a six-month deal that had clauses in that would make the deal longer if he played well and in enough games.
Samaris and his agent soured on the deal on the final day of the transfer window.
Isaac Hayden will leave the club in the summer, and Rafa needs another defensive midfielder to replace him.
But maybe a younger player would be a better option for the club – but more expensive.
Rafa would also like to retain Mo Diame, but the Newcastle hierarchy may resist that because of his age – he turns 32 in June.
Such are the problems Rafa has at Newcastle under owner Mike Ashley.