Despite the Magpies’ proposed takeover still not being given the green light for confirmation, it appears the Saudi consortium are already drawing up plans on attempting to dominate English football.
According to French publication RMC Sport, Henrique has had “initial contacts with representatives for the relevant investment fund”, and that they outlined to him how they are keen to “build a team to eventually win the Premier League”.
The report further adds that whilst no agreement has been found as of yet, the Portuguese man is interested by the Tyneside club’s project.
Henrique may not be the most familiar of names to fans of English football, but he is widely known for helping to establish both Porto and PSG as real European players in his time at the two clubs.
At Porto, Henrique flourished in the role of discovering and unearthing new talents, before selling them for vast amounts of money and netting the Portuguese side a tonne of profit: the likes of Pepe, Ricardo Quaresma, Falcao, Hulk and James Rodriguez, amongst others, were just some of the high-profile names who left for at least €20m (£17.8m) or more.
And then at PSG, it was Henrique’s personal touch that arguably saw the Parisiens edge out Real Madrid to the signing of French sensation Kylian Mbappe. Reports suggested that he “locked himself away for two days” with both the young striker and his father, eventually convincing them to snub Los Blancos.
Henrique would come with the kind of world reputation that just automatically lifts the profile of a club like Newcastle, and can help them compete to sign either up-and-coming young starlets, or ready-made stars. Having a sporting director to mastermind and strategise the recruitment success is arguably just as important, if not even more important, than bringing the right manager in.
In this modern footballing world of revolving doors when it comes to managers, sporting directors are the kinds of figures who tend to stay around for the long-term. And it’s exactly why appointing a genius like Henrique could be far more significant than persuading a Rafa Benitez or Mauricio Pochettino to take charge in the dugout.