Transfer latest: Eibar sporting director speaks out about stalled Newcastle deal for Florian Lejeune

Rafa Benitez is keen to land French central defender Florian Lejeune
Rafa Benitez is keen to land French central defender Florian Lejeune

Eibar sporting director Fran Garagarza has spoken out about the stalled Newcastle United bid to land central defender Florian Lejeune.

Lejeune has an £8.8million release clause in his contract and for weeks United have been closing in on a deal for the Frenchman.

But, as yet, no bid has been placed by the Magpies, despite the transfer frustrations of Rafa Benitez, who is keen to land his primary central defensive target.

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Having been linked with a St James's Park switch for weeks now, Lejeune is said to be keen to tie up a Tyneside deal, according to sources in Spain.

And Garagarza, widely regarded as the catalyst to the La Liga minnows rise from the lower reaches of Spanish football to the summit, has revealed that United are still in pole position to nab Lejeune, who was Eibar's most impressive performer last season.

The sporting director told Basque Country publication Diario Vasco: "Right now all the roads point to their march [NUFC].

"The English are showing their interest and we fear that he will not continue with us."

Meanwhile, Portuguese outlet O Jogo claim United are still in talks to land Greece international midfielder Andreas Samaris.

Reports over the weekend suggested United were keen to land the out-of-favour Benfica man, but baulked at the £18million asking price.

But reports in Portugal suggest the clubs are still in negotiations and a deal could be struck in the coming days.

The same publication credits the Magpies with an interest in Argentine international defender Lisandro Lopez, who plays for Benfica.

Lopez is also said to be available for around £18million.