Top quality signings have been hard to come by for Rafa Benitez at Newcastle, but this might be all about to change with the possible signing of Valon Berisha from Red Bull Salzburg.
Berisha was one of the best players in the Austrian Bundesliga last season, playing an integral role in a Red Bull side that won the League at a canter. The club also made it all the way to the semi-finals of the Europa League. Individually, Berisha scored 13 goals from midfield, starting nearly every match for Red Bull last season.
The Chronicle report that scouts from Newcastle were impressed by Berisha’s performances last season, but the Magpies will have to move quickly to stave off competition from Serie A side Sampdoria.
There has also been interest from Liverpool, with Berisha acting as a potential midfield partner to Naby Keita. However, it is Sampdoria who are the favourites to sign the Kosovan, with a deal estimating to £7m having already been agreed between the two clubs.
But there is still hope for Newcastle fans. Berisha is yet to agree terms with Sampdoria, meaning that the Toon may still be able to tempt Berisha to the North East with an increased wage offer and the chance to play Premier League football.
Tensions have been mounting in Newcastle for a considerable time, with the overwhelming feeling from the Toon Army being that owner Mike Ashley has been overseeing a steady decline in the club’s fortunes due to his unwillingness to spend in the transfer market. There have also been reports that manager Rafa Benitez has become increasingly frustrated with the lack of funds at his disposal.
Signing Berisha would go a long way towards satisfying the fans and Benitez, but time is running out, with Sampdoria appearing to be the 25-year-old’s most likely destination.