Newcastle United transfers: Who is Rony Lopes? We profile the former Manchester City attacker linked with the Magpies

Newcastle United’s transfer plans for January and beyond have been cranked up a notch over the last seven days – and one name to emerge from those early planning meetings has been that of Rony Lopes.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 11:56 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 1:23 pm
Monaco's Portuguese midfielder Rony Lopes celebrates after scoring during the French League Cup quarter final football match between AS Monaco and Stade Rennais Football Club at the "Louis II" stadium in Monaco on January 9, 2019. (Photo by VALERY HACHE / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

But who is the player and what will he add to United’s ranks? What is his price likely to be and when are the Magpies likely to strike a deal?

Scroll down for an in-depth profile of a player who has been on United’s radar for much of the year.

Who is Rony Lopes?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 20: Rony Lopes of Manchester City warms up during a Manchester City training session at AAMI Park on July 20, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

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Full name Marcos ‘Rony’ Lopes, the player is a 23-year-old attacking midfielder or No.10 developed at the Benfica Academy before being snapped up by Manchester City in 2011.

Made his competitive City debut in 2013 and scored off the bench in an FA Cup tie to, at 17, become the club’s youngest scorer in the competition.

Lopes is a full Portugal international but was born in Belem, Brazil. The ‘Rony’ nickname is an ode to Brazilian great Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima.

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Rennes'Portuguese defender Afonso Figueiredo (L) vies with Lille's Portuguese midfielder Rony Lopes (R) during the French L1 football match between Rennes and Lille, on on April 15, 2017, at the Roazhon park stadium in Rennes, western France. / AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

Where does Lopes play?

Lopes is neither a striker – in the English sense of the word – nor a winger. He is a left-footed creative forward who can drop into the No.10 role and make things happen for players around him.

In this current Newcastle system, this would likely see him take up the role of Miguel Almiron, or more likely Christian Atsu.

What’s his background?

From Manchester City the player signed for AS Monaco for £9million having seen his path to the first team blocked by the likes of David Silva.

A loan at Lille, then success in Ligue 1 at Stade Louis II saw him return 21 goals in 82 games.

Lopes has two full caps for Portugal, having represented his adopted country at every level. He made his international debut against the USA in November 2017.

An £18million move to Sevilla looked to be the perfect switch for the player, but he has played just one game and has been omitted from matchday squads by Julen Lopetegui.

What have his coaches said about him?

Manuel Pellegrini, when manager of Manchester City was a big fan of the player.

Back in 2014, he said: “Marcos is a young player with a great future. He is just 18 years old and played with the personality he needs to play in our team. He is a very important player for the future of the club.”

How much is he likely to cost?

Things might not have 100% gone to plan for the player since his switch to Sevilla, but it’s unlikely that Lopes will come cheap.

Lopetegui may not rate the player, but the La Liga outfit paid £18million for the player in the summer.

Lopes may be allowed to leave on loan, though, which is an option United could look to explore. This is likely to come with an option to purchase.

And when will United look to push for this deal?

It is the Gazette’s understanding that money is available to strengthen in January, but it is not understood to total the sums spent in the summer.

United are looking to do deals that represent quality over quantity moving forward – which was a sticking point in Rafa Benitez extension talks.

A move for Lopes would fit into that category. A loan move may well have been looked at in January, but the player has already played for two clubs this season. A permanent move would likely wait until the summer.