Newcastle's hopes of signing Dennis Praet appear to have taken a major hit.
The agent of reported Newcastle United target Dennis Praet has told Foot Mercato that his client intends to stay with Sampdoria this summer amid speculation over his future.
Praet, 23, is a product of the Anderlecht academy that also brought through the likes of Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker, but he chose to leave the Belgian side for Sampdoria last summer.
Once touted as one of the top young playmakers in Europe, Praet endured a frustrating debut season with Samp, registering just one goal and one assist as he failed to really live up to his billing in Italian football.
That hasn't stopped interest in his signature though. The Northern Echo report that, whilst Newcastle are poised to tie up a deal for Chelsea wide man Kenedy, they also hope to sign Praet imminently.
Rafael Benitez has been looking for a No. 10 to bring some guile and creativity to his side, and Praet appears to fit the bill, even if he was a little underwhelming in Serie A last season.
Whilst Newcastle fans may be excited about the prospect of the Belgian international arriving at St. James' Park, the player's agent appears to be playing down the prospect of a move before next week's transfer deadline.
Speaking to Foot Mercato, Praet's agent suggested that there has been contact with Marseille, rather than Newcastle, and whilst the player was interested, the current intention is to stay with Sampdoria.
The agent added that if Praet has a good season this term, then a move to another club could be on the cards - meaning Newcastle may end up looking to other playmakers rather than wait around for Praet.
"It's true that we had contacts with Marseille about Dennis," said the player's agent. "He was interested. He is one of the most important players for Sampdoria, who want to keep him for the next season. They feel that this season, he will be very important. If he gets a good year, I think it will be time to go to another club."