Report: Benfica identify replacement for Newcastle United target Andreas Samaris

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

Primera Liga champions Benfica appear to be preparing for life without Newcastle United linked midfielder Andreas Samaris.

Newcastle United have waited weeks for an exciting signing and then two are potentially coming along at once. A week after they completed the signing of classy Eibar centre-back Florian Lejeune, Benfica midfielder Andreas Samaris could be joining him at St. James’ Park.

O Jogo claim that Newcastle are willing to meet the Primera Liga champions asking price of £17.6 million – meaning they have moved ahead of Premier League rivals Everton, who A Bola claim had a £12.5 million bid rejected last week.

Picture Supplied by Action Images - Andreas SamarisAndreas Samaris won the title in each of his three seasons at Benfica since moving from Olympiakos

And it appears that Benfica are now preparing for life without the Greek international midfielder. Because A Bola claims that they will happily use the cash windfall from Newcastle’s big-money offer to reinvest in signing Danilo Barbosa.

The report claims that 21-year-old Danilo, who plies his trade at top flight rivals SC Braga, is viewed as a better long-term prospect than Samaris. And the latter’s move to England will fund their £12 million move for his replacement.

Therefore, this suggests that they are more than willing to let Samaris go this summer. The midfielder started only 10 league games last season as he fell out of favour under coach Rui Vitoria, which may ring a few alarm bells.

But Samaris should be a genuine improvement to Newcastle’s starting XI thanks to his quality in possession and impressive defensive solidity. At 28, he is hardly the typical youthful, affordable signing preferred by profit-seeking owner Mike Ashley but Newcastle need to speculate to accumulate if they are to succeed in the Premier League.

Picture Supplied by Action Images - Andreas Samaris

It appears Ashley is becoming aware that his restrictive transfer policy could do more harm than good.

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