Could Newcastle United be closing in on another summer signing?
According to Belgian news outlet Het Nieuwsblad, Newcastle United are willing to pay £16.5million for Dennis Praet this summer, although his current club Sampdoria are holding out for £18.4million.
The Magpies have been frustrated for much of the transfer window, with inflated fees making it hard for Rafa Benitez's men to compete for their ideal targets.
That said, they have still made some fine additions, with Florian Lejuene, Mikel Moreno, Javier Manquillo and Jacob Murphy all arriving at St. James' Park in the current window.
There is still time for more new faces and, if the latest report is true, Newcastle are pushing hard to get a deal for Praet over the line before next Thursday's deadline.
The fee is hefty considering the 23-year-old's disappointing form since his move from Anderlecht last summer. The problem is English clubs are going to be fleeced like few others with the money floating about and some of the questionable fees paid earlier this summer.
That said, under £20million for a player of Praet's quality could prove to be a bargain if he fulfils his potential at Newcastle, and Benitez will be under no illusions that he needs more strength in depth to ensure he kick-starts what has been a disappointing campaign to date.
Praet featured 36 times for Sampdoria last season, scoring one goal and providing one assist in the process. He previously scored 27 goals and and set up 39 more in 182 games for Anderlecht.
The latest news comes following a claim from Calcio Mercato that Newcastle have not bid for the player despite earlier claims to the contrary.
That said, the latest suggestion is that Newcastle are willing to go to £18.4million, not that they already have, so it is a case of watching this space for the next eight days.
Have something to tell us about this article?