By Russell Edge
Newcastle United are eyeing up a swoop for Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet who will be available for £18million (€20million) in the summer, according to a report.
Italian football news website calciomercato.com claim that the 23-year-old Belgian international has a release clause in his contract which will be able to be activated from the upcoming summer transfer window.
When that deal is eventually put on the table, it would mean the Magpies would have to break their current transfer record, which is held by Michael Owen after his £16million signing back in 2005.
The report states that there is “no doubt” that Sampdoria would be willing to let him depart if a club did choose to meet the demands of the clause, although insist he will not be departing over the January transfer window, with a contract deal signed until 2021.
The midfield maestro, who has one cap for Belgium, signed from Anderlecht back in 2016 and has made 44 appearances for the Italian club, scoring once and assisting a further four times.
Football Insider verdict
It appears that Newcastle are not letting their long-term interest in Praet fade any time soon, and it may be a case of waiting for the reported release clause in his contract to become active. It is clear Sampdoria would not let him leave in January, at least not for any less than he will be available for in six months time, and so this is one to put on the back burner for both the club and for fans. They need to prioritise sourcing the talent they are going to pursue in January as they look to keep up their impressive start to the season, and with all this talk over a potential takeover, it could be that Rafael Benitez is given cash to splash sooner rather than later. Is Praet the record breaking signing the club need to make though? He is not the most illustrious of signings and he would have a lot of competition in the centre of the park, so maybe the money is better used elsewhere.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, one of the Magpies’ rising stars is being eyed up by some of Europe’s biggest clubs.