Newcastle are closing in on Napoli keeper Pepe Reina, with the keeper keen to be reunited with old boss Rafa Benitez, whom he worked with before at Liverpool and at the Serie A giants. The boss is keen for the keeper to join them in a bid to avoid the drop this season.
And according to The Sun, the manager's hopes have been boosted by the news that the Spanish keeper will hand in a transfer request in order to force a move.
Benitez sees Reina as his number one priority even though he has had to wait weeks for a break with him. The £5m asking price is a stumbling block for the keeper who only has one year left on his current contract.
With Benitez keen for new additions to the squad, some players will be forced to make way.
Keeper Karl Darlow and striker Aleksander Mitrovic can both leave, with Spanish side Malaga keen on the Serbian Mitrovic on a potential loan deal, although Toon chiefs would rather take a fee.
His agent Manuel Garcia Quillon has not ruled out the possibility of extending Reina’s contract at Napoli, but he admits the goalkeeper is open to a Premier League return.
And with the news about the transfer request, Newcastle are increasingly confident that they will be able to acquire his services very soon.
Despite strong interest from other Italian clubs including AC Milan, his agent has confirmed that the only Italian side he would play for is Napoli.