Newcastle United news: Rafa Benitez makes Ruben Dias Magpies claim, Brazilian midfielder link, ASM Arsenal talk

Rafa Benitez has revealed he had conversations about signing Manchester City star Ruben Dias when he was manager of Newcastle United.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 4:45 pm
Ruben Dias of Manchester City celebrates with the Premier League Trophy as Manchester City are presented with the Trophy as they win the league following the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton at Etihad Stadium on May 23, 2021 in Manchester, England.
Ruben Dias of Manchester City celebrates with the Premier League Trophy as Manchester City are presented with the Trophy as they win the league following the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton at Etihad Stadium on May 23, 2021 in Manchester, England.

Speaking ahead of the Portuguese starting at the heart of Pep Guardiola’s backline in the Champions League final this evening, Benitez claims in the Times that the then Benfica man was a player looked at by the Magpies.

“When I was in charge of Newcastle United I had a meeting with Benfica officials in Liverpool,” said the Spaniard.

“We were discussing some players and one name I mentioned was Rúben Dias. He was valued at £20 million at the time, but they did not want to sell him.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“He was a young player and they wanted him to be the new centre back in the first team. He has since become an important player for City. He can read the game very well and he is good on the ball.”

Dias, named the Premier League player of the season last week, signed for Man City in a deal worth around £65million in 2020.

Brazilian midfielder linked

Newcastle United are reportedly keen on Brazilian midfielder Matheus Nunes this summer.

According to a report in Portuguese publication Record, the Magpies are set to rekindle an interest which stretches back to the January window.

The report claims United made a loan offer for the 22-year-old in the winter window, claimed to be with an option to buy, but that was rebuffed by club Sporting Lisbon.

And it is said Newcastle will likely return for the player this summer.

Sporting are looking for around €20million for the player, while the report claims the Magpies’ buy option was set at €13m in the last window.

Arsenal eye ASM

Allan Saint-Maximin could be sold by United this summer so that manager Steve Bruce can oversee a summer transfer rebuild – that’s according to the Daily Express.

And the report believes Arsenal are in pole position to land the player.

Could Joe Willock be used as bait? Only time will tell on that one.

Bruce has previously stated he has no intention of selling the Frenchman, signed from Nice in 2016 for around £16million.