Premier League new boys Newcastle United who were relegated last year but won the Championship and earned promotion right back, are leading the chase for Portguese defender Ruben Semedo, according to Sky Sports.
League rivals West Ham United, West Brom and Southampton are also keen on signing the centre back but the Magpiesare offered £10 million for the U-21 star. Sporting Lisbon, the player’s employers, want around £13 million but Newcastle remain confident they can close the deal.
Portuguese news sources claim a deal has been agreed with the Premier League side but Sky Sports says the agent of the player in question CatioBalde has denied it firmly. Semedo’s release clause is £40 million but the eventual transfer fee would be far off the mark.
Semedo is believed to want the move to England. He wants the deal done and settled ahead of the UEFA European U-21 Championship which is poised for Poland in June. The 23-year old only signed a new deal with Sporting three months ago after an impressive run. The defender played 30 games in all competitions, with six being in the Champions League.
Rafa Benitez has also be linked with a move for Metz’s teenage star Ismailia Sarr. The 19-year old winger is set to join the Premier League outfit for £10.4 million. Benitez is searching for wide players and he seems to have taken a liking to the youngster.
Sarr played 31 games for Metz, scoring five goals, aside six caps in the international scene with star-studded Senegal. Lille, Watford and Celtic are keen on his signature but the French club would prefer a bigger payout and club like Newcastle United. Benitez insists that country of origin does no matter but the “right mentality, character and the quality.”