By Tom Blackburn

Rafael Benitez is hoping to reunite with Alvaro Arbeloa at Newcastle, according to a report.

Arbeloa played under Benitez at Liverpool and Real Madrid, and he is currently available on a free transfer after Real Madrid allowed his contract to expire.

Italian newspaper Metropolis claim that AC Milan are interested in the full-back but will face stiff competition from the Toon giants.

It is said the name of the Real veteran, 33, has been mentioned within St James’ Park following the expiring of his contract at the Bernabeu.

Benitez signed Arbeloa for Liverpool in 2007 and the countrymen were reunited in Madrid last summer when the 53-year-old was appointed manager.

Newcastle are in the market for a right-back with Holland international Daryl Janmaat likely to leave the relegated Magpies.

Benitez was handed total control over transfers when he signed an updated Newcastle contract, which has prompted a change in recruitment policy at the club and experienced players with no sell-on value are no longer off limits.

Arbeloa appeared 233 times for Real over seven seasons but found first-team opportunities restricted this season with just six La Liga appearances and a further two in the Champions League.

In other Newcastle news, Benitez has put a £7m price tag on a Newcastle striker who is attracting interest from Europe.