Rafa Benitez makes key move in race to sign Sebastien Haller, Newcastle linked with ex-Sunderland defender DeAndre Yedlin

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

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Rafa Benitez has personally intervened in Newcastle United's move for Sebastien Haller, according to a report in France.

L'Equipe report that Benitez has spoken with Haller by phone ahead of a bid for the Utrecht striker.

Newcastle face competition from a number of clubs for the 22-year-old's signature.

It is claimed that Haller, a France Under-21 international, is now open to a move to St James's Park.

United manager Benitez wants to sign another powerful striker to provide competition up front for Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has now served a four-game suspension and is available for Tuesday night's EFL Cup tie against Cheltenham Town.

L'Equipe add that a Newcastle bid is imminent.

Meanwhile, United have been linked with a move for Tottenham Hotspur right-back DeAndre Yedlin, who spent last season on loan at Sunderland.

There is a question mark over the future of Newcastle's Daryl Janmaat, who was not involved in yesterday's 1-0 win over Bristol City.

Janmaat, 27, was yesterday linked with a move to West Ham United.

Jesus Gamez, signed from Atletico Madrid this summer, has not featured so far for Newcastle, and Benitez admitted this week that the 31-year-old is still short of fitness.