Rafa Benitez is interested in a reunion with David Luiz at Newcastle United – if Chelsea are prepared to loan him out.
Luiz, sidelined with a knee injury, fell out with manager Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.
There are not too many options with Premier League experience, with the maximum level and the right personality, so it’s not easy.Rafa Benitez
And a clutch of top-level clubs, including Real Madrid and Juventus, are reportedly monitoring Luiz’s situation ahead of next month’s transfer window.
There could also be interest in Luiz from a number of Premier League teams.
Benitez worked with Luiz during his brief spell at Chelsea.
The pair forged a close friendship during Benitez’s time at Stamford Bridge.
Luiz – who can play in defence and midfield – has been sidelined with what Conte has described as a “big inflammation” in his knee.
When he returns to fitness, Luiz, re-signed from Paris Saint-Germain last summer in a £34million deal, faces an uncertain future at the club.
Conte sees defender Andreas Christensen as the “present and future” of Chelsea.
Asked about Luiz’s situation, Conte said: “I don’t know. Andreas Christensen is the present and the future for Chelsea.”
Benitez – who had a transfer meeting with managing director Lee Charnley last week – is looking at the loan market ahead of the window.
United’s manager – whose side dropped into the Premier League’s relegation zone after the weekend’s defeat to Arsenal – wants to strengthen a number of positions and add experience to his squad.
Benitez, also considering a move for Liverpool striker Danny Ings, wants to bring in at least two players.
Asked about loans, Benitez said: “We have to try to bring the best players possible for us now.
“That means if you have a player on loan who’s quite good now, then we have to do it.
“There are not too many options with Premier League experience, with the maximum level and the right personality, so it’s not easy.
“But you have to do your research everywhere.”