Newcastle United transfer rumours: Rafa Benitez dealt blow in striker chase as £20m deal fades

Newcastle United have reportedly been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata.

The Magpies have been heavily linked with a move for the Serie A hotshot, with Rafa Benitez keen to add some more firepower to his squad over the close season.

Newcastle United have been dealt a blow in their striker pursuit

Newcastle United have been dealt a blow in their striker pursuit

Newcastle and West Ham United were both believed to hold an interest in Zapata. but reports from Italy claim that Inter Milan have now entered the race for the forward.

With striker Mauro Icardi looking certain to leave, the Italian giants are desperate to secure a new striker in the summer window - which could spell bad news for the Premier League duo.

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Fcinternews claim that the side watched Zapata in action against Empoli on Monday evening as they prepare to launch a summer swoop.

But it is claimed that that Inter's key target is Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku - with Atalanta's reported €50m asking price deterring a number of clubs.

Meanwhile, it has been claimed that West Ham are set to subdue their interest in Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.

Recent reports have suggested that the 27-year-old is set to leave St James's Park this summer after crunch talks with Benitez ahead of the trip to Leicester.

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Shelvey is believed to be unhappy after being benched in recent weeks and is eyeing up a summer exit.

And while the Hammers have been heavily linked with a swoop in the past, Claret&Hugh claim that Manuel Pellegrini is unlikely to make a move given the players' injury record.

Shelvey had been linked with a £20million move to the London Stadium in January, but hopes of a similar move come the summer look faint.