There is no question the Premier League season has not started as expected for Newcastle United and their manager, Rafa Benitez.
Even though The Magpies have been improving of late, there is no question the club could use some help in midfield, particularly on a box-to-box role with a player that can contribute on both ends of the pitch. And apparently, the Spanish tactician already has the perfect replacement in line.
According to a report from Here Is The City, Benitez hopes to land Sampdoria star Dennis Praet in January as Newcastle plan to back the Spaniard. The 23-year-old Belgian playmaker has featured regularly for the Serie A side since his arrival last year, and has quickly emerged as one of the most talented young midfielders in Italy.
There are a few hurdles to complete the deal, though. Aside from the fact that Sampdoria are not likely to be okay with parting ways with one of their best players, Newcastle also does not have a lot of money to spend. The Magpies can only buy the Belgian for €20 million next summer, and Sampdoria have already announced they do not want to sell his creative player midseason.
Essentially, this means Benitez will need to switch targets if he cannot wait for a creative midfielder until next summer. That’s not the ideal scenario, but all signs indicate they are going to do whatever it takes to land the former Anderlecht star.
Praet has also won one cap for Belgium, although he has been a regular member of the squad in the past few years.