Rafael Benitez eying two key additions ahead of Premier League return


Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez is monitoring two experienced players ahead of the club’s return to the Premier League next season.

The first player is former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who worked with Benitez for five seasons as the number one option at Anfield between the sticks.

rafael benitez
Pepe Reina’s Liverpool career ended with a loan spell at Napoli in 2013, before he joined Bayern Munich on a permanent basis the following year. He made only three appearances for Bayern before returning to Napoli on a three-year deal in 2015. In total, he has made 135 appearances for Napoli, winning a Coppa Italia in 2014

Reina, who turns 35 in late August, is past his peak years but offers Benitez a more reliable option than any of current goalkeeping duo Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow

He would also offer a more than adequate replacement for outgoing goalkeeper Matz Sels, who joins RSC Anderlecht on a season-long loan.

The second player is Manchester City outcast Fernando, who seems to be surplus to requirements for Pep Guardiola next season.

All signs suggest that the Brazilian would struggle for playing time if he remains at The Etihad, especially after starting just five times in the Premier League last season, the last of which came at the end of December.

Fernando, a robust and accomplished player in his own right after winning four Primeira Liga titles and a Europa League with Porto, would add significant depth to Newcastle’s midfield ranks.

Newcastle have already made one transfer ahead of the new campaign, signing Chelsea’s Christian Atsu on a permanent basis after he impressed with The Magpies in his loan spell last season.


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