With Yoshinori Muto secured, Newcastle’s front-line for the upcoming Premier League season already looks considerably stronger but Rafael Benitez’s work in the hunt for options up front does not appear to be over.
L’Equipe state the Magpies have entered the battle to sign Lyon forward Myziane Maolida, valued at £7.1m, but will have to offer first-team assurances to the 19-year-old in order to beat LaLiga duo Sevilla and Real Betis in the market.
Salomon Rondon has been linked with a move to Newcastle regularly during the past few months but the saga looks set to have come to a close, with the Tyneside giants surely laughing off the latest reports regarding the Venezuela international.
According to The Mirror, Newcastle have missed the opportunity to activate Rondon’s £16.5m release clause and will now have to match West Brom’s demands of £25m if a deal is to be concluded – and that seems extremely unlikely given the striker has not hit double figures in the Premier League since moving to England in 2015.
A lot of talk has orientated around Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden this summer, with the former Arsenal man said to have handed in a transfer request as he seeks to land a move down south for family reasons.
That led to interest from Brighton but Rafael Benitez has stood firm on his stance that the 23-year-old will not be sold, telling The Shields Gazette that he believes the former England U21 international will remain at St. James’ Park.
“Yeah, I think so. He knows that he has to stay and he was working hard (against Braga). So, it’s just a question of maybe these 10 days and when you finish the transfer window the players start realising it’s where we are and we have to perform.”
With Rondon seemingly off the cards, Newcastle are now reported to be looking elsewhere in their raid of West Brom as The Daily Mail (live blog 02/08, 16:51) state that Rafael Benitez is now targeting a move for Kieran Gibbs.
Boasting ten caps for England, Gibbs has endured a major decline in recent seasons and only joins the Baggies last season from Arsenal, suffering relegation after appearing in all but five of West Brom’s Premier League matches.