Striker set to snub Newcastle United move?

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Newcastle United's hopes of landing a new striker in January could be blocked by North East rivals Middlesbrough.

Reports suggest the Magpies have an interest in adding Aston Villa frontman Rudy Gestede to their ranks in the January transfer window.

But any move for the targetman could be scuppered by Premier League Boro.

The Guardian have reported that Aitor Karanka could pip Rafa Benitez to the Benin international's signature, with Boro prepared to shell out around £6.5 million next month to secure the out-of-favour Villa man's services.

It has been reported that Karanka sees Gestede, who has started just eight games in the second tier, as the perfect understudy to Alvaro Negredo at the Riverside, with Jordan Rhodes and David Nugent set to exit. Rhodes could even swap places with Gestede, with former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce keen to take the Scotland international to Villa Park.

Gestede's lack of match action has alerted a number of clubs to his situation, with Newcastle reportedly one of those.

Benitez is keen to reinforce the United squad in the winter window, with moves for attacking players and a central midfielder top of the list of priorities.

But is is understood Gestede could reject a St James' switch, in order to return to the top flight, where he netted five goals last season, as Villa failed to beat the drop to the Championship.

Benitez has 17-goal Dwight Gayle on his books as well as Aleksandar Mitrovic and Daryl Murphy.

But rumours have been rife in recent months linking Mitrovic with a move away.

Having seen the likes of Serie A giants linked in the past, the latest clubs to have been mentioned in dispatches are top flight strugglers Crystal Palace and Swansea.