For the second time in just a handful of days, the Portuguese newspaper Record is linking Newcastle with a move for Sporting CP midfielder Matheus Nunes. Over the weekend, it was claimed that Newcastle could revisit a January loan offer for the 22-year-old.
At the time, Sporting were reluctant to sell any key components of their squad as they had a Liga NOS title in their sights. They rejected Newcastle’s offer of a loan with a reported £10m purchase option in January.
Sporting went on to win the title with Nunes ending his first full season with 39 appearances, though only 12 were starts in the league. The Brazilian had broken into the first team in the latter half of the previous season.
On Wednesday, Sport Witness cited a second report from the Portuguese newspaper about Newcastle’s pursuit of the 22-year-old. This report claims Sporting have already lined up a replacement in Famalicao’s Manuel Ugarte should Nunes depart the Lisbon-based club this summer. Newcastle is cited as the potential destination.
Nunes’s representatives are scheduled to meet with the Sporting board over his future later in the summer. He joined Sporting from Estoril Praia for around £990k in January of 2019 and signed an extension to 2025 last October.
With funds limited this summer, Newcastle likely could only offer a loan with a purchase option once again. He ticks a few boxes as he’s an all-around midfielder who can carry the ball forward or drop deep in a more defensive playmaking role. He was also played on the right a few times last season.
A loan move could be a decent shout as long a reasonable purchase option is inserted. While the links are only seemingly coming for Portugal, he does fit the profile of a Mike Ashley signing.