Lucas Leiva And Chris Smalling On Rafa Benitez’s Wishlist

Reuters / Phil Noble

Promoted Newcastle United’s manager Rafa Benitez is looking to strengthen his squad before pre-season training kicks off.

Rafa Benitez surprised many with his decision to stay with Newcastle United when they were relegated last year.

The Spaniard stuck to the task and got his team back among the big boys in the first go, however, he is well aware of the fierce competition in Premier League, as the former Liverpool manager looks to bolster his squad well in advance of pre-season.

It is being reported that Rafa attended several meetings with Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley, where he presented a list of players he would like to add to the squad.

The 57-year-old is supposedly looking at bringing in Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and his former club Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva, who would soon be out of contract.

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Among defensive targets, Smalling wasn’t Benitez’s first choice, as he wanted to bring Sporting’s Ruben Semedo to Newcastle. However, Villarreal managed to lure him away before he could join the Premier League club.

Meanwhile, Brentford winger Jota has also been linked with a move to the Toons.

Rebuilding at Newcastle is well underway, as the club has already released the likes of Vurnon Anita, Sammy Ameobi, Haris Vuckic and Lubo Satka.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez celebrates winning the league with the trophy.

Action Images / Lee Smith

Rafa is leaving no stone unturned, as he seeks a strong season from his side. The manager would surely want to yield good results with his promoted side in order to match his global reputation.

Rafa Benitez possesses an impressive resume, with Real Madrid, Liverpool, Inter, and Chelsea amongst the clubs managed by him.


Written by Shorya Panwar  

Has 20+ years of experience managing Schalke in Football Manager 2017. Believes wing-backs are the most complete footballers in the modern/evolved football. Writes weird stuff on his personal blog.


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