Newcastle United supporters have been in high spirits in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side narrowly beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, in turn moving the North East giants up to seventh place in the Premier League.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their clash with the division’s bottom club having drawn their last two games against Liverpool and Southampton, but would have surely viewed a clash with Roy Hodgson’s struggling Eagles as the perfect chance to get back to winning ways. And they did just that thanks to midfielder Mikel Merino, who connected brilliantly with Matt Ritchie’s corner to send a firm header past the despairing Julian Speroni in the Palace goal, in turn securing a fourth win of the campaign for the Magpies, and lifting them up to seventh place in the table.
And, unsurprisingly, several of our resident Newcastle fans were thrilled with their side’s efforts on Saturday and have been toasting their team’s win throughout the week, and they are likely to be further intrigued by a recent report from CalcioMercato.com, which outlines some interesting information about Sampdoria’s Dennis Praet, a reported target of the Magpies.
The 23-year-old midfielder made the move to the Italian outfit back in 2016 after a six-year association with Anderlecht, and he has since gone on to command regular first team football at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in the last 12 months.
The one-time Belgium international made 32 Serie A appearances last term to help the club to a tenth place finish, and he’s making an impact this time round as well with three assists in nine league games to aid Marco Giampaolo’s side to five victories from those nine matches.
And as such Praet has reportedly been attracting the interest of Benitez’s Newcastle, yet recent reports suggest that he won’t be going anywhere in January but could be available in the summer for just €20 million, as his release clause reportedly comes into effect at the end of the campaign.
Thus, it’s not all bad news for our resident Newcastle fans to digest, but ultimately it seems that Benitez will have to turn his attentions away from the 23-year-old and to other targets in the New Year.
Landlord’s verdict: Much was made of Newcastle United’s struggles to land top transfer targets during the summer, with manager Rafa Benitez conveying some frustration during the close season.
And it appears that they’ll have to wait slightly longer for Sampdoria’s Dennis Praet, a reported target during the summer who looks set to stay at the Italian club beyond the January window.
However, the 23-year-old could be available for €20 million in the summer given his release clause reportedly kicks in then, and were he to continue his fine form and no new contract be forthcoming, that figure could turn out to be a bargain come the end of the season.
Ultimately though, it doesn’t help Benitez’s plans to improve his squad in January, but it’s certainly something the Magpies should bear in mind come the summer.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!