90min reported last month that the Magpies had been one of the clubs keen on signing the 21-year-old prior to his summer move to Benfica, while club legend Alan Shearer recently gave his backing to the Tynesiders making a move.
Manager Eddie Howe subsequently admitted he was “aware” of the young midfielder, although the Englishman suggested that the player’s asking price could well be “quite lumpy”, following reports the ten-cap maestro could cost in the region of €120m (£105m).
Despite that hefty cost, O’Rourke – in an interview with Football FanCast – has suggested that such a deal could well help to form an exciting duo involving the former River Plate gem and current St James’ Park hero, Bruno Guimaraes.
The transfer insider stated: “Bringing that South American flair to that Newcastle midfield in a Brazilian and Argentine as well would have Newcastle fans really excited at the potential of those two players playing in their side.”
Howe and co are already reaping the rewards of bringing in Guimaraes earlier this year, with the £40m addition having proven a “world-class” asset for Newcastle thus far, in the words of teammate Dan Burn.
The 25-year-old has scored eight goals and registered three assists in just 32 games in all competitions for the club thus far, with such an impact having seen him dubbed “magnificent” by the aforementioned Shearer.
To be able to bolster the midfield ranks with the signing of Fernandez would be a truly mouthwatering prospect, with the highly-coveted “beast” – as described by CBS journalist Ives Galarcep – having thrived for his country in recent weeks.
The 5 foot 10 playmaker proved instrumental in his nation’s triumph in Qatar earlier this month, having “announced himself on the world stage” with his standout form for Lionel Scaloni’s side, in the words of journalist Casey Evans.
Named the Young Player of the tournament, the San Martin-born starlet scored once and registered one assist in his seven outings in the competition, although it was his relentlessness in the centre of the midfield that particularly caught the eye, as he averaged an impressive 3.1 tackles per game and won 75% of his aerial duels.
Such form has been no mere freak, however, with the emerging talent having also shone in Portugal at club level so far this term, notably averaging 9.5 progressive passes per game as a marker of his forward-thinking approach.
Alongside a gifted dribbler such as Guimaraes – who ranks in the top 10% in Europe in that regard among those in his position – Fernandez could well provide a different threat with his probing forward passes, ensuring that the creative burden is lifted off his fellow South American.
With Newcastle striving for Champions League qualification, the addition of such a remarkable talent would surely provide that extra boost that is needed.