Newcastle United's pursuit of Tom Cairney may have failed, but manager Rafael Benitez appears to have other irons in the fire as he looks to boost his squad this summer.
The Chronicle carried quotes from Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic last week suggesting that Newcastle's £20million bid for Cairney had been rejected, with the Cottagers flat-out refusing to sell their Scottish star to the Magpies.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez
That leaves Newcastle searching for another playmaker who can both create and score in the Premier League next season, and speculation suggests that Benitez will target a fellow Spaniard.
Sky Sports claim that Newcastle have turned their attention to Brentford star Jota, though they would face competition from Everton and West Ham for his signature, given that he would allegedly be available for just £8million.
Brentford's Jota scores
The 26-year-old returned from a loan spell with Eibar earlier this year and took the Championship by storm, smashing 12 goals and five assists in just 21 Championship appearances.
Jota, formerly of Celta Vigo, can play out on the right or as a No. 10, and he has dazzled defences in the second tier. With goals, creativity, superb balance and a wand of a left foot, Jota has earned favourable comparisons to Manchester City's David Silva, and that kind of player – who excels in tight space and can make space of his own – could be vital for Newcastle.
Brentford's Jota celebrates scoring
Dwight Gayle will want quality service in the Premier League, and Jota's Championship displays suggest that he could be the man to give Newcastle a creative spark in the final third, with Benitez no doubt aware of what his compatriot can do on the ball.
At just £8m – a mere fraction of the bid Newcastle submitted for Cairney – Jota should become Newcastle's prime target as Benitez looks for another attacking midfielder this summer.
Would you like to see Newcastle sign Jota?