Speculation linking Newcastle United with a move for Benfica midfielder Andreas Samaris just would not go away over the summer. And with a month until the January transfer window opens, it seems you will have to get used to reading the Greek international’s name in the gossip columns again.
Because O Jogo report that Newcastle are ready to revive their interest in Samaris in the New Year – and it is understood that Benfica are bracing themselves for offers.
The Mirror claimed in August that Samaris had held talks with Newcastle over a club-record £17.5 million move to Tyneside. And this ‘will he, won’t he’ saga appeared to be tipping in the Magpies' favour with the midfielder keen to try his hand in English football.
In the end, however, Samaris proved to be a little out of Newcastle’s price-range. But with reports suggesting that Newcastle could have new owners by the end of 2018, bringing the curtain down on the scrimp and save regime put in place by Mike Ashley, the Premier League giants may soon have the money to bring the 28-year-old to St James’ Park.
And if Samaris was interested in a move in the summer, his first few months of the 2017/18 season will not have changed his mind.
The former Olympiakos ace struggled for first-team chances last season and that has continued into the current campaign, where he has featured in just three of Benfica’s 12 Primeira Liga games, starting once.
Samaris is a classy and versatile midfield operator renowned for his qualities both on and off the ball. On paper, he would form a fine partnership with Jonjo Shelvey or Mikel Merino on Tyneside.