By Russell Edge

28th Mar, 2018 | 12:49pm

Report: Newcastle eye up 11-goal maestro after double Benitez failure for problem position

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez is making an attacking midfielder his priority yet again in the transfer window and has eyed RB Salzburg’s Valon Berisha as a potential target, according to a report.

The Chronicle claim on their website that the Spanish boss has been seeking reinforcements for the number 10 role for the last two transfer windows but has failed to secure a signing for what he deems to be a problem position on Tyneside.

Ayoze Perez has been his first choice to fill the gap for much of his time at St James’ Park but he could have new competition come the summer, with Berisha said to be seen as a worthy addition having been on the Magpies’ radar for a year-and-a-half.

The 25-year-old Kosovo international has hit 11 goals for the Austrian side across all competitions this season, which included two strikes to sink Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League and help his club to the quarter finals.

Football Insider verdict

Newcastle do lack creativity in the centre of the park, especially when it comes to just behind the centre forward, and despite the best efforts of Perez and co, some reinforcements come summer seem a necessity. Berisha’s record is pretty impressive, especially when it comes to the goal scoring aspect, and goals from the Magpies’ midfielders is another area where the club struggle. The 25-year-old has proven himself against some big names in Europe and his versatility means he would be able to pose a threat from wherever he was utilised were he to arrive at Newcastle. Still, new players means splashing the cash, something Mike Ashley is reluctant to do, and Berisha would likely cost a pretty penny.

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In other Newcastle United news, one proven game changer is sweating over his fitness ahead of the club’s clash with Huddersfield.

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