Newcastle United takeover: Rafa Benitez provides update and denies £15m attacker bid

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has denied the club have bid for Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almrion
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has denied the club have bid for Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almrion

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has addressed the latest takeover and transfer rumours - denying he's close to signing Atlanta United attacker Miguel Almiron.

Takeover speculation has been talk of Tyneside this week after Mike Ashley revealed on Monday to Sky News he is closer than ever before to selling the club.

Prominent names such as US businessman Arthur Blank- coincidentally owner of Atlanta United - and Peter Kenyon have hit the news - with the latter said to be the leading contender to buy the Magpies.

Benitez was linked with a January breakthrough on Wednesday when reports suggested Newcastle had agreed to bring Almiron on loan with a £15million option to make his stay permanent in the summer.

However, Atlanta chairman brushed off the claims as "laughable" and warned the Magpies to make a "serious offer.

He said: "The important thing is we have an owner that is 100 per cent behind the team and wants the team to win, and we have a fan base, so we have always said that if the right approach comes in - and it has to be the right offer for the player, the league, and most importantly the club - then we would consider it.

"I have seen some laughable things in the press, clearly we are never going to loan one of our players out and we are certainly not going to let them go for the 'chump change' that I have seen in some reports.

"If it's a proper, serious offer then it's something we would consider, but not for the laughable figures that I have seen mentioned in the press."

Ahead of the Magpies' Premier League clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, Bentiez rubbished claims that the club have bid for the Paraguayan.

Almiron, who will compete in the MLS Cup final against Portland Timbers on Sunday, is thought to be keen on a move to St James's Park after his agent recently held talks with Newcastle's head of recruitment Steve Nickson

"I don't talk about players, but I've heard that someone has said we made an offer and after, we said 'No, we didn't make any offer'.

"We don't talk about players. If we make an offer, they will know, we will know and not necessarily the press will know. At the moment, there is no news and we carry on with the players that we have trying to do our best for the next game."

The 58-year-old was also able to provide a brief takeover update after speaking with managing director Lee Charnley.

"I was talking with him and it's the same message: business as usual, so nothing new."