Newcastle close in on transfer breakthrough

Chelsea youngster Kenedy
Chelsea youngster Kenedy

Newcastle United could be set for their first signing of the winter with reports they have resurrected a deal for Chelsea youngster Kenedy.

The Brazilian was on Rafa Benitez's wishlist in the summer, only for the deal to be scuppered after Blues boss Antonio Conte refused to let him leave Stamford Bridge.

Kenedy has only played three EFL Cup games this season, however, and Benitez is believed to be ready to bring him to Tyneside on loan once the January transfer window opens.

The Daily Mail have reported that Newcastle have already secured a deal for the 21-year-old and that he will be the first arrival as Benitez bids to turn Newcastle's season around.

Kenedy is primarily an attacking player, operating on the left wing or up front, although he has also played as a left-back.

Newcastle have a number of players who can operate on the left wing, including Christian Atsu, Matt Ritchie, Rolando Aarons and Jacob Murphy, but have struggled at left-back in the absence of Paul Dummett.

Benitez is also keen on a loan move for Chelsea defender David Luiz.

Meanwhile, reports in the Algerian media claim the Magpies have made a bid for Leicester City striker Islam Slimani.

The 29-year-old is out of favour with the Foxes after failing to nail down a regular first-team spot following his big-money move from Sporting Lisbon.

He didn't even feature in their squad for the Carabao Cup tie against Manchester City in midweek, and has played just 10 minutes under Claude Puel and hasn't been included in the last five match-day squads.

Asked about his absence for the cup game, Puel said: “We have just 18 players possible (in the match-day squad) before the game. Musa was not here also. Ulloa, Vardy, Gray and Mahrez were on the bench. I cannot put all the strikers I have in the squad on the bench.”