The Moroccan playmaker only joined Benfica over the summer, but has failed to break into their first XI – instead playing for the Lisbon side’s B team.
And reports claim that the Portuguese giants are ready to give up on the 26-year-old, with Newcastle having shown an interest.
The Magpies are currently embedded in a relegation battle following a horrendous start to the season under Steve McClaren, who is eager to add creativity to his ranks.
The enigmatic Taarabt is known to be a talented player when motivated and fit, and the Magpies are hopeful that they can extract the sort of performances he put in as QPR were promoted to the Premier League in 2010/11 – he netted 19 goals – to help them avoid the drop.
Taarabt spent some time on loan at Fulham in 2013/14 – the season in which the Cottagers were relegated – before joining AC Milan on loan for the latter half of the same campaign.
He returned to QPR for 2014/15, but played only 295 minutes of league football as the London side finished rock-bottom.