Newcastle United could rub salt in Sunderland's wounds by nabbing Andreas Samaris

Newcastle players celebrate winning the league with manager Rafael Benitez

Sunderland were heavily linked with SL Benfica midfielder Andreas Samaris in January - but now Newcastle United lead the Premier League chase.

Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele in action with Benfica's Andreas SamarisBenfica's Andreas Samaris

As if it wasn’t bad enough that the end of Sunderland’s decade-long stay in the Premier League has coincided with Newcastle United returning to the top flight as second tier champions, it appears that The Magpies are now attempting to rub salt into the gaping wounds.

Because Record reports that Newcastle are interested in signing Benfica midfielder Andreas Samaris this summer – just five months after Sunderland were heavily linked with a club-record bid.

Picture Supplied by Action Images - Andreas Samaris

The 27-year-old Greek international won his third straight Primera Liga title in 2016/17 with The Eagles finishing above traditional rivals FC Porto yet again. However, the fact that Samaris started just ten league games after losing his place to Lubomir Fejsa may ring a few alarm bells – especially as Record add that Newcastle will have to pay £17.3 million to sign him.

As such, that would narrowly make Samaris the club’s all-time record transfer – beating the fee they paid Real Madrid for Michael Owen in 2005.

Newcastle's Michael Owen looks dejectedMichael Owen failed to live up to his £17m fee

And it will not escape the attention of Sunderland supporters that Newcastle appear to be targeting a player they were desperate to sign in January. Despite The Black Cats being restricted by huge debts, The Sun report that they were still willing to pay big for Samaris with David Moyes desperate to keep the club in the top flight.

However, Record add that their eventual, and inevitable, relegation means Samaris has no interest in swapping the Champions League for the Championship.

Newcastle players celebrate winning the league with manager Rafael BenitezBoost for boss Rafael Benitez

Needless to say, Newcastle have the advantage.

Samaris only inked a new four-year contract in February but, if he’s looking for first-team football, a summer exit from the Estadio da Luz makes sense.

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