Benitez reunion at Newcastle with Paletta could prove to be crucial

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez gestures from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in...

Newcastle are likely to be active in the January transfer window.

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez (R) talks with Newcastle United's English midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (L) as they leave the pitch at the end of the English Premier League...

Rafa Benitez is expected to be a busy man in the January transfer window as he looks to add the players he believes can play a pivotal part to his squad in an attempt to keep Newcastle United in the Premier League.

The Spaniard, who is known for his activity in the transfer market, is likely to be drawing up potential targets already in order to give his side the best chance of landing a number of new signings.

It is plain to see that the Toon need a centre-forward, a new winger and perhaps a central midfielder, but Benitez should also be looking to add a centre-back to his squad as Florian Lejeune is yet to prove his transfer fee.

Gabriel Paletta of AC Milan reacts during the 2017 International Champions Cup football match between AC milan and Borussia Dortmund at University Town Sports Centre Stadium on July 18,...

The 26-year-old suffered a knee injury in his first game after joining for around £8.7million from Eibar in the summer, returning just last month. However, in his six appearances, the Frenchman has looked mediocre at best.

It should see the Toon look to add a more experienced central defender to their ranks alongside Lejeune, Chancel Mbemba, Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark - someone Benitez knows he can trust.

AC Milan defender Gabriel Paletta should be right at the top of his shortlist, as the 31-year-old rock is entering the final six months of his contract at the San Siro after falling out of favour - he has failed to make a league appearance this term.

Marco Boriello of Cagliari in contrast with GAbriel Paletta of Milan during the Serie A match between Cagliari Calcio and AC Milan at Stadio Sant'Elia on May 28, 2017 in Cagliari, Italy.

Benitez worked with the former Parma defender at Liverpool for a year, signing a fresh-faced 20-year-old Paletta in 2006 at Anfield from Argentinian side Banfield. However, just a year later, he sold Paletta to Boca Juniors.

Since then, Paletta has gone on to play for the likes of Parma, Milan and Atalanta, clocking up 191 Serie A appearances as well as three Italy caps. That kind of experience is just what the Toon need in their fight against relegation.

Available on the cheap due to his contract situation, knows Benitez well and offering an abundance of experience, Paletta would be the perfect January signing for Newcastle.

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