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Could former teammate Florian Lejeune persuade Dani Garcia to join Newcastle?

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez chats with assistant Fabio Pecchia (r) before the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park on May 15, 2016 in...

A number of clubs are chasing Dani Garcia, but Newcastle have a former team-mate in their ranks.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Burnley at Old Trafford on December 26, 2017 in Manchester, England.

As Newcastle United close in on Premier League safety, attention can start to turn towards the summer transfer window.

Rafa Benitez will hope to have some funds if he has kept Newcastle in the top flight and it will be interesting to see which players he looks to as he spends in the Premier League for the first time in a number of years.

One man the Spaniard is reportedly considering is compatriot Dani Garcia, per AS.

Lucas Vazquez of Real Madrid in action against Dani Garcia of SD Eibar during the La Liga match between SD Eibar and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Municipal de Ipurua on March 4, 2017 in Eibar,...

The report suggests that Garcia is expected to join Athletic Bilbao when his deal at Eibar expires in the summer, but Newcastle and Southampton are both also in pursuit.

And could Newcastle have a trump card in the race for the midfielder's signature?

Garcia has been a key player in Eibar's rise to prominence in LaLiga and another player who briefly played a big role was Newcastle's Florian Lejeune.

The French defender left Spain for Tyneside last summer and he has now settled, finding form alongside Jamaal Lascelles in a steady back four.

Newcastle defender Florian Lejeune in action during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on August 13, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...

Given Garcia's contract situation, a number of clubs are likely to be interested and so a word in his ear from Lejeune could well tip the balance in Newcastle's favour.

Benitez has a host of box-to-box midfielders to call on, but he lacks a defensive force in the middle of the pitch and could do a lot worse than to look to a player who has combined with Lejeune before.

If Newcastle could reinforce a key position and give Lejeune even more support, both the defender and Garcia could blossom at St James' Park.

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