Newcastle United will move for Chelsea and England midfielder Ross Barkley this summer if Rafa Benitez takes over as manager at St James’ Park.
That is, according to the Telegraph, who claim Benitez has made Barkley one of his number one targets.
Reports over the past week from various sources have claimed that Newcastle are willing to pay the going rate to land Benitez from current Chinese outfit, Dalian.
The Spaniard is already hugely popular on Tyneside thanks to his previous spell with the club. A return to St James’ Park would be a statement from the club’s new owners. It would, however, mean a rather sad departure for Steve Bruce, who has done little wrong since taking over.
But it appears Benitez and Newcastle are already putting transfer plans in place. Barkley, who has been in and out of the first XI since moving to Chelsea, could well relish a move back north.
Furthermore, he could get the chance to be a key player rather than simply a rotation player.
Barkley a maverick talent that needs to fulfil the potential – TBR View
It’s not too harsh to say that Barkley hasn’t quite lived up to the hype so far in his career.
Once valued at around £50m by Everton, the midfielder has often flattered to deceive. However, he could well flourish in the northeast under Benitez.
The talent is definitely there. Add to that the fact Newcastle fans love a flair player who excites them, and it could be a winning formula.
Indeed, Barkley was once compared to Newcastle favourite, Paul Gascoigne. It’s easy to draw similarities, but Barkley must produce to live up to that mantle.