Report: Newcastle United to renew interest in Benfica's Lisandro Lopez in January

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is seen during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Rafa Benitez wanted Lisandro Lopez at Newcastle United in the summer and the Argentine appears likely to move on in the New Year.

Benfica's Argentinian defender Lisandro Lopez controls the ball during the Portuguese league football match SL Benfica vs SC Braga at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on August 9, 2017.

If there’s one position Newcastle United do not seem to need immediate reinforcements, its centre-back. Nonetheless, The Chronicle reports that Benfica centre-back Lisandro Lopez is on Rafael Benitez’s radar ahead of the January transfer window.

This is not the first time the 28-year-old has been tipped to move to Tyneside. The Sun reported in June that Benitez had identified Lopez as the ideal signing to shore up Newcastle’s defence ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is seen during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on October 1, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

And it would be little surprise if Lopez himself had his eyes set on a January move away from the Portuguese champions. The Argentine international is well down the pecking order at Benfica, making just one start so far this season in the league after managing six across 2016/17.

With reports suggesting that Benfica are in the market for new defenders in January to fill the void left by Victor Lindelof’s summer move to Manchester United, Lopez is likely to be pushed further away from first-team contention.

Benfica's Argentinian defender Lisandro Lopez (C) celebrates after scoring the equalizer during the Portuguese league football match FC Porto vs SL Benfica at the Dragao stadium in Porto...

Whether he is needed at Newcastle, however, is another matter. The Magpies have summer signing Florian Lejuene set to return after the international break, Jamaal Lascelles has been in fine form of late while Ciaran Clark and Chancel Mbemba represent solid back-up options.

It also remains to be seen whether owner Mike Ashley will fund the swoop in the New Year.

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