According to CalcioNews24, AC Milan are weighing up a move for Lille midfielder Thiago Maia as they consider rivalling Newcastle United's move.
Maia, 21, came up through the ranks with Santos in his native Brazil before heading to Lille last summer, where he has continued his development.
The midfielder – comfortable as a box-to-box player or as a holding player – racked up 37 appearances for Lille this past season, and whilst he didn't register a goal or an assist, he has clearly earned admirers.
Now, CalcioNews24 in Italy report that AC Milan are interested in landing Maia, and are prepared to rival Newcastle for his signature, though it's unclear just how much Lille would demand for his signature.
The report also adds that Newcastle boss Benitez is 'serious' about bringing Maia to Tyneside, but interest from Milan - who are in next season's Europa League - may be a problem for the Magpies.
With Mikel Merino set for a return to Spain and Mohamed Diame still not exactly trusted as a long-term solution in midfield, Maia may well be targeted to partner Jonjo Shelvey in the heart of midfield.
Newcastle may need to cough up to land his signature though, and with Milan now interested, Benitez may call for his side to move quickly and strike a deal having only snapped up one player this summer - goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on a permanent basis.
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