By Russell Edge

13th Mar, 2018 | 8:55pm

Report: Newcastle remain in hunt for summer signing's ex-teammate, midfielder up for free

Newcastle United are still in the hunt for Eibar midfielder Dani Garcia after being linked with a move for the 27-year-old over the January transfer window, according to a report.

Spanish publication AS claim on their website that the Magpies were joined by Premier League rivals Southampton, as well as Real Betis and Levante, in hunting the central star’s capture but he remained with the La Liga club, entering the final six months of his current contract.

If he fails to put pen to paper over a new deal, he will be a free agent in the summer, and a move to St James’ Park would see him reunite with Florian Lejeune, who joined Newcastle from Eibar last summer.

Garcia, a defensive midfielder and the Spanish side’s capatain, has been a mainstay for his club this season, making 24 appearances from a possible 30 games across all competitions.

Football Insider verdict

Newcastle have found something of a ball winner in the shape of Mohamed Diame this season, but Isaac Hayden is the only natural defensive midfielder the club have on their books at the moment. Garcia seems to be doing a decent job in La Liga but at 27-years-old, there will be questions asked over why he has not made the step up to the next level if he is good enough. Luckily for Rafael Benitez, he can get the inside track from Lejeune, who could well have recommended his former team mate to the manager. Still, with four central midfielders on Tyneside already, one would likely have to leave before seeing another join up with the Magpies.

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In other Newcastle United transfer news, the Magpies are expected to make a swoop for the Toon Army’s dream target this summer.

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