Rafa Benitez discusses ‘appealing’ summer transfer target for Newcastle

Rafa Benitez says a reunion with Fernando Torres at Newcastle United would be “appealing”.

Torres – who has played for Benitez at Liverpool and Chelsea – will leave Atletico Madrid this summer.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

And Benitez has been asked by a Spanish publication about the possibility of signing him.

“I think it will be harder for him to come for him, not because we don’t want to,” Benitez told Marca.

“I don’t know what’s going on in his head, but maybe he is thinking about something else.

“It would be appealing, but I don’t think it would be easy.

I think it will be harder for him to come for him, not because we don’t want to. It would be appealing, but I don’t think it would be easy.

Rafa Benitez

Torres was a prolific scorer at Liverpool under Benitez.

And the striker helped Chelsea win the Europa League in 2013.

“In Liverpool, he was sensational,” said Newcastle manager Benitez.

“Then we went to Chelsea and, although he had a bad time when he arrived, he was essential for us in winning the Europa League.”

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has hailed Torres ahead of his final game for the club.

“Torres has a gift, “ said Simeone. “Whatever he chooses, he chooses well.

”He’s a special type of person, he’s so important.

“He’s done extraordinary things in football.”

Benitez will need to sign a striker this summer – if he stays at the club.

United will look to sell Aleksandar Mitrovic, who was loaned to Championship club Fulham in January.

However, Torres is not understood to be a target for Benitez, whose representatives are discussing Newcastle’s summer transfer budget with the club’s hierarchy.

Speaking earlier this month, Benitez said: “Fernando is a great player, he did really well for us.

“He’s an icon, and idol at Atletico Madrid, and I don’t know what he will do in the future.

“Still he’s a good player, and obviously he did really well with us and he will have good memories like I have good memories.”