Newcastle United lunchtime round-up: Rafa Benitez Championship job link plus an unlikely Portuguese transfer story

Newcastle United kept their heads above water at the weekend with a point against Wolves – but at what cost?

Monday, 1st March 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 12:02 pm

Injury news on Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron is expected in the coming days, with some suggestions the Paraguayan may well be fit to play a part in the club’s relegation run-in.

There’s also news of a Championship link for ex-United boss, and PCP favoured candidate Rafa Benitez, as well as links to a young prospect and some news on the future of Adam Armstrong.

Here’s your Newcastle United lunchtime round-up…

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This photo taken on August 20, 2020 shows Dalian Pro coach Rafael Benitez (R) reacting during their Chinese Super League football match against Shenzhen FC in Dalian, in China's northeast Liaoning province. - Former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez vowed improvements at Dalian Pro after their latest defeat left them rooted to the bottom of their group in the Chinese Super League. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Rafa Benitez in Championship link

Former Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez was reportedly proposed as a managerial alternative to Jonathan Woodgate at Bournemouth.

The Spaniard, out of work having agreed to leave Dalian Pro by mutual consent last month, was put forward as a candidate for the post following the departure of Jason Tindall, according to the Daily Mail.

The report claims “intermediaries proposed the former Newcastle boss as a potential replacement for Jason Tindall” but Benitez, according to the report, “ultimately opted against making a swift return to management”.

Benitez is understood to be the favoured candidate to take over as manager at Newcastle United, should PCP Capital Partners take control of the football club.

Their current takeover bid remains embroiled in legal battles, taken on by current owner Mike Ashley.

Portuguese defender transfer emerges from continent

According to reports from Portugal, Newcastle United are interested in a summer move for Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares.

Of course, any move would be subject to the Magpies retaining their Premier League status. United are currently three points above 18th-placed Fulham but could drop into the bottom three by the end of the week, with Fulham playing on Thursday.

The 21-year-old defender is rated around the £13million mark by the Portuguese giants – and publication O Jogo claim Serie A outfit Napoli and fellow Premier League strugglers Burnley are also interested.

Miguel Almiron injury claims

Injury news is awaited on issues that forced Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron off in the Magpies’ 1-1 home draw with Wolves at the weekend – but it seems the Paraguayan’s injury may not be as bad as first feared.

The Daily Mail’s Craig Hope tweeted this update, today: “News awaited on injuries today, but word over weekend on Almiron was that it's not as bad as some perhaps feared."

No such reports have emerged on the injury to Saint-Maximin, which on first view looked similar to that of Callum Wilson, who is expected to return at the end of the month.

Former striker price tag set – and it’s eye-watering!

The Sun claim Blackburn Rovers want £25million for former Newcastle United striker Adam Armstrong.

The Geordie has scored 20 goals in the second tier this season for the Ewood Park outfit and attracted January interest from West Ham United.

But Rovers, who paid United around £2million for the player, have set the bar high, should any top flight interest return in the summer.

The 24-year-old is out of contract in June 2022 and the Magpies are set to receive a significant sell-on fee should he move in that time.

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