By Russell Edge

11th May, 2017 | 8:05am

Newcastle sensation: Benitez opens preliminary talks to sign £54m duo - report

By Russell Edge

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has opened discussions with Manchester City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain in an attempt to secure a double deal for midfielder Fernando and defender Eliaquim Mangala, according to a report.

The Daily Mail claim that the Spanish boss is looking to overhaul his squad and inject Premier League experience alongside his Championship title winning players.

It is said that Benitez has opened preliminary talks with Begiristain in order to seal the signings of both Mangala and Fernando.

The report claims that Manchester City will be looking to sell centre-back Mangala for as close to the £42m they spent on signing him from Porto.

Meanwhile midfielder Fernando cost the club in the region of £12m, according to a report from the BBC.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Both have been left on the fringes of the City squad, with the French defender spending the season out on loan to Spanish side Valencia in order to get first team football.

The 26-year-old has gone on to make 31 appearances for the La Liga club, scoring two goals.

Defensive midfielder Fernando meanwhile has struggled to maintain a spot in the starting XI at the Etihad Stadium this season, with the 29-year-old making just 26 appearances across four competitions.

Football Insider verdict:

No one expected Rafa Benitez to be looking to the top of the Premier League when he said he was looking for top flight experience. Manchester City have a wealth of options available, which is why it appears they are prepared to let fringe players, like Fernando and Mangala, depart this summer. For Newcastle, their signatures would be a real statement – but at what cost? Benitez has been told he has every last penny available to him but where is the limit? Mangala will not be sold cheaply, while Fernando’s wage expectations may be much higher than the current structure at St James’ Park. It would be a real surprise if either of these moves came off. 

In other Newcastle transfer news, this 25-year-old has completed a switch to these Premier League giants after posting on Instagram.

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Newcastle breaking news.