Thursday saw widespread claims 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.

Then Sunday morning, L’Equipe followed that up with reports that Rafa Benitez had made a personal phone call to Sebastien Haller, in an attempt to push through a transfer and convince the striker Newcastle had big plans going forward.

The French publication claiming that the player had responded positively to what Rafa Benitez had to say, with the Newcastle boss allegedly telling Haller that a transfer offer would go in as soon as possible.

If there was a transfer close to happening, it seemed a bit strange when the striker lined up yesterday for Utrecht in their latest league match.

Haller played the full 90 minutes as Utrecht lost 2-1 at home to AZ, the striker not getting on the scoresheet.

After the match, Sebastien Haller talked to Fox Sports and responded to claims he is sure is leave this summer and that Rafa Benitez had called him personally to sell a move to Newcastle to him, the player rubbishing the suggestion that the United boss had called him.


“That is going around on Twitter and instagram – eh?

“That makes it awkward – if you believe everything I would already be at Barcelona.

“However, I feel good here at Utrecht – I don’t have to leave.

“It is a bit annoying, though I just concentrate on the Utrecht matches and doing my own job.

“I feel really good and want help my team just like I did last season.”

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 59 starts, including two in three games this season.