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Benitez’ Central Midfield Target Available This Summer

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.

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What do you think?

Comments welcome.

65 comments so far

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #1

    Further to the reports of money laundering yesterday

    Kristof Terreur ??
    Pini Zahavi says that he’s done nothing illegal. Belgian prosecutors focusing on him, not on the clubs involved – Newcastle, Anderlecht. #nufc

  • hibbit

    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #2

    just sat down for a coffee after a busy morning and this one really made me cry laughing :'(


    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #8
    It’s more likely that after the fans forum in 2017
    when Charnley said SD would start paying – that the fee
    is £1M per month and those accounts just show the first months payment.

    ***************just can’t stop laughing****************

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #3

    Ronaldo, she’s a very knowledgeable young freelance football writer. She’s had some big interviews with the likes of Jurgen Klopp and others and handled herself well.

    The cynics will say she’s Asian and female and therefore ticks a few diversity boxes for the Beeb and others, but I think she’s carving out a career on merit.

    Sadly, she appears to also be a bindipper. No accounting for taste, then…. (except in Centre Backs, obviously)

    Here’s the article Ronaldo was referring to, if anyone is interested https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48038384

  • Lindisfarne

    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #4

    Samaris had his chance, he is now too old and will not get up to the speed of the PL.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #5

    Never came across her before, searched her and saw she’s also part of that football joe site too. Good on her.

    There’s quite a few female pundits nowadays, some people don’t like it but I quite like to see that. The one on the bbc, Alex Scott is better than most of the male counterparts on bbc and I heard Laura woods on talksport before the Southampton game, she’s quite clued up on us regarding Rafa, the fans and contract situation.

  • Jib

    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #6

    NY mag
    It’s easy to get the pricks to bite

  • hibbit

    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #7

    that’s a nice wiggle jib pass the buck 😉

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #8

    Yeah, that Alex Scott seems to have her head screwed on, very tactically astute, would far rather have her on MotD than the buffoon who is Robbie Savage.

    She seems to have no bias towards any particular teams also, which is very rare in the former male players.

    The sad thing is that when she’s interviewing pitch-side on MotD 2, she’ll often ask a player / manager an interestign question, only for the answer to be directed not at her but to one of the male presenters. I actually get quit angry about it.

    There’s no reason why these lasses shouldn’t be as good if not better pundits and journos than their male counterparts – after all the likes of Alex Scott played at the top level of the game for years and while the ladies’ game may not be as high quality as the mens’ (not being controversial, it just isn’t), the tactics, training and approach to the sport is the same.

  • geordietom

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #9

    here we go again . i think some one should keep a count on how many players we are linked with from now till the start of next season…

    only 2 people at the moment i ( we ) want to get signed up is Rafa and Rondon …

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #10

    ronaldo aarons,
    Ricky Lambert or Daryl Murphy, it was in the Chronicle yesterday. Luckily we went for Murphy.

  • NY Mag

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #11


    You really shouldn’t do that…..

  • geordietom

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #12

    please no S.D.S. today thank you …

  • Jib

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #13


  • Jib

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #14

    I must admit I was hoping to get the frog going
    maybe hibbit is the éminence vert

  • one fine day

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #15

    Three streams back
    Meant Cardiff no idea why I typed Fulham
    Maybe got distracted by the discussion on refunded tickets going on 🙂
    Was basically thinking better Cardiff stay up as the more teams we can take points off next season the better .
    If Brighton survive we know they will spend up big again.where as tan is not far from Ashley in many ways

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #16

    You’re so clever Jib, you really should be on egg heads.
    “Sorry mate but you’ve been told you’re not allowed to use a high powered PC, this is a quiz show!”
    “F#^t off yer pr#@k hic burp”

  • one fine day

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #17

    Geordie tom
    We do keep a count
    Have done for last couple of seasons
    Forget who did it last year but it was in the 200’s when the window closed

  • Oldgit1

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #18

    Hibbit = gullible ha ha

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #19

    Oldgit1 ploughing in on Job’s side again, definite brown nosing going on there mind, or something more sinister!!!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #20

    I really can’t see how they can eject 4/5K Geordies from a ground and if they leave that many outside with £60 tickets +travel, there could be riots!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #21

    How do you know that hibbit was being gullible, how did you know that Jib never meant that, about the advertising, after all he is quite well known for his pro hierarchy views?

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #24

    This is the extract from the Fans’ Forum minutes relating to the Sports Direct advertising.

    “There is now an agreement in place whereby Sports Direct pays for all advertising in the
    Sports Direct is only allocated what the club doesn’t sell and that arrangement can be
    terminated immediately by the club if another company is willing to pay more on a fair
    commercial basis.”

    So, in theory either there is no other company wanting to pay more or Charnley lied to the fans’ forum.

    Given NY Mag’s excellent detective work in finding the entry in the Sports Direct accounts showing a payment of £1M pertaining to advertising rights at SJP (paid to SJP Holdings, not the club), there is the basis of some easy follow-up questions from an interested local journalist.

    If only our local journalists weren’t all wandering round with their heads up their backsides.

    The only other option is to wait for the next Fans’ Forum (last one was in September 2018 so don’t hold your collective breath) and ask some questions then.

    The other implication of Charnley’s statement is that a new owner would be able to terminate the sponsorship agreement, as long as there was another company willing to pay more than Sports Direct. This sounds eerily similar to the agreement that Rangers have with Sports Direct on their merchandising and club strip sales.

  • lesh

    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #25


    As Sports Direct is only allocated what advertising space the club doesn’t sell one must wonder how aggressively said space is being marketed by the club. Given the seeming acres of SD logos plastered around SJP and doubtless, the training ground, there’s a lot of money to be made for the club.

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #26

    lesh, absolutely that’s the case.

    Realistically, they wouldn’t need to market these spaces too aggressively, you’d imagine that there would be inbound enquiries regularly. You have to wonder what the response would be to those enquiries.

  • Lindisfarne

    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #27

    Would the Newcastle Brown Brewery (?) be willing to offer £1.5m for same stadium coverage?
    That would put Penfold in an awkward position.

  • cyprus

    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #28

    This is probably the easiest result to guess, for several reasons, which don’t need explaining.


  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #29

    I’ve mentioned this before, there was still advertising for the box against Wigan up on the walls in the Gallowgate foyer when we were back in the PL, that money must go to the club so he’s not ar$ed about it.

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #31

    Lindi, I think the way it works with Rangers is that other companies can make an offer for the service (in their case selling the Rangers Merch and shirts) but that offer then has to be communicated to Sports Direct for them to match.

    So, unless a company is prepared to pay over market value, Sports Direct will remain the incumbent supplier.

    However, it will have the effect of at least forcing Sports Direct to pay market rates.

    With us, yes, Heineken could bid to have Newcastle Brown advertising plastered all over St James (or at least part of it) but Sports Direct would likely have the chance to match the bid.

    Again, though, they would at least be forced to pay more.

    That’s probably the reason why the space is not being marketed too aggressively, too.

  • NY Mag

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #32

    Rob @24,

    You spotted the most important point (that nobody else had mentioned).
    The money was paid to st James holdings – we don’t know if it even made it to the club yet.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #33

    Only 23 points behind the self confessed football expert catchy in Norway in Ed’s league now. A good run in should see me overtake him 😀

  • Lindisfarne

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #34


    I spotted it, just didn’t mention it!

  • NY Mag

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #35


    Gold stars for you and Rob. 😀

  • hibbit

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #36

    jib must have his hand along way up your arse the way he works you like a ventriloquist dummy,


  • c-dog

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #37

    please refrain from supporting the signings of bargain basement tosh
    thank you

  • Online Guy

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #38

    Newcastle United are a better team than perceived by the media and supporters nation wide.

    We had the most difficult fixture allocation first 10 games .. after negotiating that slalom and referee bias I always thought we would slowly but surely grow and gain the points needed to better last seasons 10th position.

    In my opinion we are the 7th best team in the league …why ? We have been absolutely robbed of 13 points because of human error and institutional bias for so called bigger clubs we played, from Referees , penalties not given , sending offs not carried out , glaring mistakes by officials.

    If you go back and review the games were we were robbed you will accrue 13 points we should have rightly had but because of referees mistakes , not ours, you will see we are the rightfull 7th placed club.

    I mentioned about 5 months back that Ayoz Perez is a complete player ..there was negativity towards him on here and I posted that in the face of that , I also had him down as this seasons top scorer before a ball was kicked .

    I think he’s proved his point . Where are his detractors now ? Great player .

  • hibbit

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #39

    from the chronical another one to add to the targets list !!!!!!!!!

    United linked to 19-year-old forward
    Newcastle have been linked to a 19-year-old forward by the name of Jan Carlos Hurtado. Argentinian radio station 221 Radio claim that NUFC alongside Marseille and Atalanta are interested in the Gimnasia forward.

  • c-dog

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #40

    the points don’t lie
    wheeling and dealing to remain static


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