Thursday brought reports of a Newcastle United approach for Sebastien Haller.

The 22 year old Utrecht striker is a rising star and recently turned down a 15m euros (approx £13m) move to Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande.

L’Equipe said that Newcastle had made an initial move to find out whether the striker would be interested in a move to St James Park, as they look desperately for another striker to give them options this season.

With only a week and a half of the transfer window remaining, Sunday morning sees L’Equipe reporting that Rafa Benitez has now made a personal call to the Utrecht forward.

The Newcastle manager is said to have done his best to sell the club to Sebastien Haller, explaining both his short and long-term vision to the player, with the current position in the Championship simply a stepping stone to better times ahead.

Haller is claimed to have given Rafa Benitez encouragement and that the Newcastle boss told the player he intends to put in an official bid as soon as possible.

Sebastien Haller moved from Auxerre to Utrecht in summer 2014 for £600,000 and has had a remarkable goalscoring record in Dutch football, scoring 37 goals from 58 starts, including two in two games this season already – Utrecht play AZ this (Sunday) afternoon.

With Newcastle having the extremes of the physical Mitrovic at one end of the scale and the more diminutive Gayle, Armstrong and Perez at the other, the 6ft 1 but mobile Sebastien Haller sounds very much like the kind of attacking threat that Newcastle could do with.

It remains to be seen whether the Rafa Benitez longer term project will convince the French Under 21 international, as there is strong competition and not just from China, Portuguese runners-up Sporting Lisbon are interested and they can offer instant Champions League football if they follow up their initial interest.