Report: Benitez could offer captaincy to reluctant Lucas Leiva to seal Newcastle reunion

Rafael Benitez - Liverpool Manager talks to Lucas Leiva

Newcastle United are reportedly keen to land Lucas Leiva in a part-exchange deal involving Georginio Wijnaldum.

Rafael Benitez - Liverpool Manager talks to Lucas LeivaRafael Benitez talks to Lucas Leiva

According to The Telegraph, Newcastle United want Lucas Leiva in part-exchange for Georgino Wijnaldum as Rafael Benitez pursues a reunion with the Brazilian.

Speculation surrounding the future of Dutch playmaker Wijnaldum has been rampant over the last few days, with The Mirror now reporting that Tottenham have dropped out of the race to sign him, leaving Liverpool clear to land him - if they pay Newcastle's asking price.

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The Mirror report that Liverpool must pay £25m up front to sign Wijnaldum, which is something of a large fee for Jurgen Klopp's men - and the possibility of a part-exchange deal has been floated.

The Telegraph now report that Newcastle are keen on Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, and could ask for him in part-exchange to bring the price of Wijnaldum down for the Reds.

Liverpool's Manager Rafael Benitez and Lucas Leiva during training

Midfielder Leiva, 29, was signed by Newcastle manager Benitez during his time as Liverpool boss back in 2007, and made the Brazilian an important first-team player despite criticism over his displays at Anfield.

Now something of a misfit under Jurgen Klopp, Lucas appears to be heading for the exit this summer - and Benitez wants to reunite with the midfield anchor man to add some steel and experience to his Newcastle side, with promotion wanted this coming season.

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However, the report adds that Lucas is reluctant to drop down to the Championship, and whilst his relationship with Benitez could help Newcastle secure him, Benitez is willing to offer a huge incentive.

It's claimed that Lucas could be offered the captain's armband at St. James' Park in order to tempt him to make the move, given that Newcastle allowed former skipper Fabricio Coloccini to join San Lorenzo earlier this summer.

The deal - Lucas plus cash for Wijnaldum - could work for all parties, and it's believed that Wijnaldum's move to Anfield could be done by the end of the week. Whether Lucas will be part of any transfer remains to be seen.

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