Newcastle United could be set to revive their interest in long-term transfer target Badou Ndiaye as Rafa Benitez looks to strengthen his midfield options ahead of another testing season in the Premier League next term.
The Magpies fought impressively to seal a tenth-place finish in the top flight following promotion from the Championship last season, and according the Chronicle, Rafa Benitez and the transfer team at St James’ Park have already set about identifying targets to strengthen the side and avoid second season syndrome next term.
It is said that Stoke City midfielder Ndiaye fits the bill, having been a long-standing target on Tyneside prior to his move to the bet365 Stadium in January. Though Stoke won the race for the Senegalese midfielder’s signature on that occasion, it was not enough to save the Potters from relegation.
Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle now appear in prime position to take advantage of their rivals’ misfortunes and could use the events as an opportunity to hand Ndiaye a Premier League lifeline and finally land their man, five months on from missing out on his signature initially.
The 27-year-old joined Stoke for £14m from Galatasaray on transfer deadline day at the start of the year, much to Newcastle’s disappointment.
Though Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame formed a strong partnership at the heart of the Magpies’ midfield last season, Ndiaye would certainly add a great deal of steely physical presence and energetic combat to Benitez’s engine room, qualities which could be crucial to Newcastle’s hopes of fighting for another solid season in the Premier League next term.
It is said, however, that one obstacle could remain in Newcastle’s hopes of completing a deal for their man. The Magpies are reportedly unwilling to match the £14m figure which Stoke paid to lure the midfielder from Turkey, as they were in January.
That reluctance to stump a fee which met the demands cost them in the race for Ndiaye last time around and could yet prove to be a stumbling block once more unless Stoke are willing to accept a cut-price offer. Of course, the Potters’ relegation to the Championship could make this a possibility.