Rafa Benitez and Newcastle have been linked with Benfica holding midfielder Andreas Samaris for almost a couple of years now, and we tried to sign the player in January.
Samaris will become a free agent in the summer when his contract runs out at the Lisbon club.
After January, Benfica thought about offering Andreas a new deal – presumably so they could ask for a fee for him this summer,.
But news in the Lisbon-based newspaper A Bola is that Benfica have indeed offered the player a new deal but he has refused to sign it and Benfica have indicated they are unlikely to increase their offer.
Andreas Samaris – playing well for Benfica in the second half of the season
Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira has said this in A Bola today:
“In due course, we will decide, but the priority is always Benfica.”
“We will only offer what we can and only those players will stay who want to be at Benfica.”
“That is the case for any player.”
Samaris has been capped 35 times by Greece, but he turns 30 in June so Rafa could have difficulty with owner Mike Ashley in signing him – even as a free agent.
Samaris has also been showing some excellent form for Benfica in the second half of the season.
It seems one significant disagreement between Rafa and Ashley over his potential new contract is Rafa’s ability to sign players he thinks will help the Newcastle team – even when they are 30 or older.
It’s a similar case with on-loan striker Salomon Rondon who turns 30 in September.
Rafa will need to bring in some central defenders this summer with the likelihood that Mo Diame, Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey could all leave the club.
What do you think?