Fast forward a month and recently appointed Magpies manager Steve Bruce was quick to give the green light on the deal and make the Brazilian his first signing.
Mike Ashley, criticised for supposedly failing to back Benitez in the transfer market, has said to have been persuaded to fork out the money due to the belief that the striker has a high sell-on value.
The forward has been handed a six-year deal and the number nine jersey which had been vacated by Benitez’s first choice target Salomon Rondon. The Venezuelan opted to link up with Benitez at the Spaniard's new club, Dalian Yifang.
Brazilian Joelinton scored 11 times in 33 appearances last season for Hoffenheim, having previously been on loan at Rapid Vienna the preceding two years, netting 21 goals. While his record might not quite justify the £40m fee, Bruce says he is happy to have the forward on board.
Bruce said: “The kid's got an exciting time ahead of him. He's a smashing young player and we're obviously delighted to get him.
“He's got everything that a modern-day player wants. He's big, strong and athletic, and of course he's got age on his side too which is vitally important.”