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Benitez set for further frustration as Newcastle target ‘almost’ seals move

Newcastle United supporters have been a bit more upbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side start 2018 with crucial victories over Stoke City and Luton Town, somewhat helping to lift the gloom around St James’ Park.

Rafa Benitez’s men went into the New Year just a point and two places above the Premier League’s bottom three, while news of a possible takeover also went quiet. However, the Magpies recorded a much-needed 1-0 win at Stoke on January 2 to pull further clear of the relegation zone, before comfortably getting past Nathan Jones’ high-flying Luton 3-1 in the third round of the FA Cup last weekend, thus setting up a trip to either Norwich City or Chelsea in the last 32.

Subsequently, there has been a little bit more positivity among our resident Newcastle fans in the Tavern this week, yet they are unlikely to be overly thrilled by a recent report from Corriere dello Sport, which suggests that reported Magpies target Dennis Praet has ‘almost’ signed for Italian giants Juventus.

The 23-year-old has spent the last 18 months or so at Serie A outfit Sampdoria, for whom he managed one goal and four assists in 55 games for the club, helping them to a tenth place finish in the Italian top-flight last term.

And his fine efforts for the club had attracted much interest from around Europe, with Newcastle one side reportedly keen on landing him during the summer, while reportedly maintaining their interest in the last few months.

However, recent reports suggest that the Belgium international has ‘almost’ signed for Serie A champions Juventus, in news which is likely to come as another blow to Magpies boss Benitez who, 12 days into the window, has still yet to make any additions to his squad.

Landlord’s verdict: Rafa Benitez’s frustration at Newcastle United’s summer transfer window was plainly evident – the Spaniard reportedly even came close to quitting such was their dire success in the market.

They entered January just outside the Premier League’s bottom three but knowing that reinforcements will be needed to remain a top-flight club come the summer, yet one man who won’t be making the move to St James’ Park is Dennis Praet, who is reportedly set to sign for Juventus.

12 days into the window, and still no signings for the Magpies, and with the proposed takeover incomplete, Benitez’s frustration is only likely to grow.

Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!

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