If Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez had been mulling over a deal for Celtic forward Leigh Griffiths before last weekend, his sublime double against England on Saturday will hardly have put The Magpies off.
With just five minutes of normal time remaining and Scotland a goal down at Hampden Park, Griffiths curled two stunning free-kicks into either side of Joe Hart’s net in the blinking of an eye. In fact, only a 93rd minute Harry Kane volley saved England from their first defeat to the Auld Enemy this century.
As such, The Mirror reported soon after that Newcastle may be willing to offer £6 million for Griffiths this summer while West Brom had also made their interest known.
However, it appears that Benitez may be fighting a losing battle attempting to bring the former Wolves striker to St James’ Park – despite the fact he was only handed 15 league starts by Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers last season.
“I have got a great manager behind me. He sees me day in and day out. That’s why he has stuck with me,” Griffiths, who scored 18 goals in 2016/17, told the Daily Record.
“He was frustrated when I was injured, but I got a run of games towards the end of the season.
“Even then, people say I am going to be out the door. I’ll keep battering the doors down to show I am good enough to stay in the Celtic squad.”
Newcastle appear to be in need of a goalscorer with Daryl Murphy expected to leave and Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is yet to win over Benitez, admitting that a ‘good offer’ could tempt him away, the Daily Record adds.
Aleksandar Mitrovic's exit would leave Newcastle United short of options
Furthermore, a loan deal for Chelsea wonderkid Tammy Abraham appears to have hit the buffers somewhat after the 19-year-old, who netted 23 times at Bristol City last season, told the Daily Mail that he was unsure about another temporary move.
And with Griffiths likely to reject all offers, Newcastle’s search is likely to go on.