Newcastle set to lose out on transfer target

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez looks set to miss out on keeper Pepe Reina
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez looks set to miss out on keeper Pepe Reina

Rafa Benitez is set to lose out on another transfer target at Newcastle United.

Paris Saint-Germain are closing in on Napoli’s Pepe Reina, who has a year left on his contract at the Serie A club.

Benitez is desperate to bring a goalkeeper to St James’s Park this summer.

United lost out on Willy Caballero early in the transfer window.

And Benitez – whose side will take on West Ham United at home tomorrow, looking for their first win of the new Premier League campaign – was interested in bringing Reina to the club.

Newcastle’s manager previously signed Reina while in charge of Napoli and Liverpool.

However, Reina’s set for a surprise move to cash-rich PSG, who are reportedly ready to bid £6.5million for the 34-year-old.

“I can only say that Paris Saint-Germain interest in Reina is real,” said Reina’s agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon.

“However, only the clubs can confirm whether there are any formal offers on the table.

“One thing is certain, he will not renew his contract.”

Rob Elliot, handed the Newcastle No 1 shirt previously worn by long-serving Tim Krul, has started the season between the posts.

Karl Darlow – who made 34 Championship appearances last season – was in goal for Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup tie against Nottingham Forest, his former club.

Benitez handed Darlow the captain’s armband for the second-round tie, which United lost 3-2 in extra-time.

Krul, made available for transfer this summer, has been training at the club’s Academy since the middle of last month.

Benfica are interested in the 29-year-old, who had loan spells at Ajax and AZ Alkmaar last season.

A number of players, including Siem de Jong, Achraf Lazaar and Emmanuel Riviere, are close to securing moves away from Newcastle.

“We have a couple of players in conversations with different clubs,” said Benitez after the Forest game.

“But officially, today, still nothing.”

Meanwhile, Benitez, frustrated at the club’s summer transfer efforts, has got no sympathy from West Ham manager Slaven Bilic ahead of tomorrow’s game.

Bilic is under pressure at the London Stadium after two league defeats.

Benitez – who was close to taking the West Ham job before he was appointed Real Madrid manager in the summer of 2015 – has again been linked with the post.

Newcastle have spent just over £35million on six players so far this summer.

Asked about United’s transfer business, Bilic said: “I think, in this transfer window, I don’t know exactly, but I follow who they have bought and sold.

“They are not happy with the transfers, but they spent more money than we have spent in this transfer window, if we are talking about net money.”