Report: Benitez makes swoop for second Real Madrid man as Newcastle step up rebuilding job

By North-east correspondent Harry Sykes

Rafa Benitez is preparing for a swoop on a second player he managed at Real Madrid, according to a report.

The Newcastle manager began his summer overhaul by appointing former Real player Mikel Antia to his backroom staff earlier this week.

Now the Daily Mail claim that Benitez is ready to step up his rebuilding job by by making a move for former Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa.

It is said the name of the Real veteran, 33, has been mentioned within St James’ Park as he will be available on a free transfer with his contract set to expire at the Bernabeu later this month.

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

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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 last week, 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.

In other Newcastle news, one of the team’s senior players could be first out of the exit door as London club eye summer bid.