By David Woods

22nd Aug, 2017 | 8:28am

Report: Newcastle in two-horse race for highly-rated top-flight international midfielder

By Harry Sykes

Newcastle are set to go head-to-head for the signature of rated Uruguayan midfielder Diego Laxalt, according to a reliable journalist.

Matteo Pedrosi, who writes for Calciomercato and is a football scout, claimed that Genoa’s Laxalt would sign for either Atalanta or Newcastle this summer.

He made the claim on his official Twitter page on Monday.

The tweet translates as, “Atalanta or Newcastle for Laxalt.”

Asked by Andrew Musgrove from the Newcastle Chronicle about the claim, Pedrosi re-affirmed the development and said that Laxalt is a “very good player”.

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This follows a report in the Mail that claimed that Benitez was after a new left-back after an injury to Paul Dummett in the opening Premier League game of the season.

The Mail claimed that Newcastle had made an enquiry about Laxalt and now it looks like a straight fight with another Serie A club Atalanta for his signature.

Laxalt, 24, is a versatile player who can play either in left midfield or at left-back and has bags of top-flight experience.

He made 35 Serie A appearances in the 2015/16 season and 36 last season. He also played the full 90 minutes in Genoa’s opening game of the new campaign, a 0-0 draw with Sassuolo.

Laxalt has also won three caps for Uruguay and last played in their 3-1 defeat against the ROI in June.

Football Insider verdict:

Newcastle need new players and with just nine days left before the transfer window slams shut, they need them fast. Newcastle have reportedly made an enquiry about Laxalt and he would be great addition to the side, with his versatility giving Benitez squad options. He only has one year left on his contract, which means that Genoa might be open to a cut-price deal, which currently looks like the only hope of attracting new recruits for Benitez. Newcastle fans will be hoping for anything at this stage of the summer, and although they might not have heard much about Laxalt, he is a quality player who would improve their squad. 

In other Newcastle United transfer news, the Magpies are expecting to tie up signing of this Brazilian flyer this week.

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