Newcastle have set their sights on Braga’s Ricardo Horta once again, report Portuguese outlet O Jogo.
The Magpies first took notice of the Portugal international when Rafa Benitez was still in charge, with the former manager previously watching the 25-year-old’s performances.
O Jogo suggest the north-east outfit are preparing a £10m bid for the winger, but having recently signed a new contract which includes a release clause of €30m [£25m], Braga may refuse to sell until that price is met.
The disparity between the clubs means Mike Ashley may have to be persuaded to cough up the extra millions, though with Steve Bruce meeting with his owner recently he may have had the chance to do exactly that.
Newcastle being in the market for a winger may appear to be an odd move at first given the need to strengthen in other areas, particularly up-front where their £40m striker Joelinton has scored just twice in 24 matches.
Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin have also caught the eye this season with the latter managing 4.5 dribbles per game and the Paraguay international finally capturing form with three goals in three games.
Who the heck is that?! Can you name all 25 of these obscure Newcastle signings…
However, Saint-Maximin’s hamstring injury has highlighted a key flaw in the Newcastle squad – the lack of back-up wide player.
Horta could solve that issue. He has 19 goal contributions in 29 games this term and that ability to find the target is likely very appealing to Bruce, who could always use Almiron in a more central position, as he has at times this campaign.
When the two first-team wingers are fit the addition of Horta would provide some much-needed competition, keeping the likes of Almiron and Saint-Maximin on their toes – which could in turn lead to better performances from the pair.
£25m presents a significant outlay for a player with limited experience outside of Portugal, with two years spent at Malaga, but if the Magpies can negotiate a lower fee then it may be worth bringing Horta to St James’ Park.
In other transfer news, another story has broken which could hint that one Newcastle man is being let down in a big way…