Italian international linked with Newcastle after bust-up with coach

Mattia Destro made his international debut against England.
Mattia Destro made his international debut against England.

Newcastle United have been linked with a move for Italian international striker Mattia Destro.

The 26-year-old is interesting the Magpies and fellow Premier League side Watford, accoring to reports in his homeland.

Toon boss Rafa Benitez is well aware of the frontman from his spell in Serie A with Napoli and Inter Milan, and is understood to be keeping tabs on the player’s progress.

Destro was tipped to have a stellar career when he joined Roma for £14million as a teenager in 2012.

After bagging 24 goals in 49 games in his first two seasons with the club, Destro’s form fell away and he was loaned out to AC Milan.

That spell wasn’t a success, with Destro finding the net just three times, and he was sold to Bologna in 2015 for around £8million.

He has scored 24 times in 78 appearances for Bologna, and despite getting on the scoresheet just five times this season is still attracting attention from the Premier League and Spain, where Deportivo have been linked with a move.

Benitez is keen to add more strike power to his side in the summer should Newcastle stay up. The Newcastle boss saw the club fail in an approach for Feyenoord frontman Nicolai Jorgensen last month before securing the services of Leicester City forward Islam Slimani on loan until the end of the season.

Benitez could return for Jorgensen in the summer, though Newcastle’s transfer targets will depend on which league they are playing in next season.

Destro, who has eight caps for Italy, is understood to be available for around £9million.

Bologna are believed to be willing to let the player leave in the summer after he fell out with coach Roberto Donadoni.

Donadoni questioned the player’s determination and commitment, having dropped him to the bench. It provoked a response from Destro’s agent Luca Puccinelli.

“Donadoni is free to make his own choices,” he said. Mattia is not his ideal player? Ok, but do not justify your decisions by attacking the professionalism of the boy. “