Newcastle had a scout present as Porto demolished Braga 4-1 at the Estadio do Dragao last night. Sport Witness has speculated that the likely focus of the scouting trip was Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa.
Newcastle reportedly made an inquiry over Costa early this past summer. Porto warned the Magpies that his release clause is €60m and were unwilling to budge. Newcastle eventually landed Nick Pope at a bargain price.
Costa started last night’s match but wasn’t threatened much with Braga unable to get any of their 9 shots on target. Their lone goal was scored by Porto’s veteran defender Pepe.
While the report doesn’t name him, Newcastle were also linked with another Porto player, also named Pepe, this summer. A few reports from Brazil claimed Porto rejected a £30m bid for the 25-year-old. Pepe also has a very high release clause.
Like Costa, Pepe started last night’s match scoring a goal in the 63rd minute. Other Porto players that Newcastle may have been keeping tabs on are striker Evanilson, right-back Rodrigo Conceicao, and winger Gabriel Veron, who came on as a substitute.