On Sunday night Sampdoria beat Benevento 2-1 in Serie A and Dennis Praet was the subject of interest for Newcastle.
According to Italian media, NUFC representatives were in attendance to watch the attacking midfielder ahead of a potential late transfer bid.
The player was linked with a possible move to Tyneside back in February 2016 (see below) when he was still at Anderlecht, then on Friday it was claimed that there was interest in the player once again, a year on since his £7m move to Italy.
Dennis Praet played the first 84 minutes of the game as Sampdoria came back from conceding an early goal, with two from striker Quagliarella winning the game for the home side.
The WhoScored.com ratings system gave Praet the fourth highest marks of the 28 players who got on the pitch, the midfielder rated at 7.4, with only double goalscorer Quagliarella (7.9) and Ramirez (7.7) rated higher on the winning side.
Sunday afternoon’s defeat at Huddersfield showed a real lack of inspiration in midfield and whether Dennis Praet is a serious target and could raise that quality, remains to be seen.
The Mag – 18 August 2017:
Dennis Praet is a target for Rafa Benitez according to reports on Friday morning.
The 23 year old is an attacking midfielder and moved from Anderlecht to Sampdoria in summer 2016 and made a fairly successful transition.
Sampdoria finished 11th last season in Serie A and Dennis Praet featured in 32 of their 39 league matches, 19 in the starting eleven and another 13 from the bench.
However, Il Secolo XIX are reporting in Italy that Newcastle have registered their interest and see the Belgian international (one full cap and a regular for Under 21s) as a player who can add something to their squad.
Praet cost the Italian club £7m last season and whilst they are looking to raise cash for their own signings, it is unclear whether they are happy to let the former Anderlecht midfielder move on.
A former teammate of Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic at Anderlecht, Dennis Praet scored 18 league goals in his final three seasons in Belgium, though managed only one last season when stepping up into Serie A.
A player who can use both feet and play across the midfield, could he be seen as a viable Rafa Benitez target?
Back in 2016 former Anderlecht manager Johan Boskamp warned a then 21 year old Dennis Praet against a move to Newcastle.
Johan Boskamp speaking to Het Belang Van Limburg (February 2016):
“After the criticism of President Vanden Stock, Dennis Praet replied with his feet.
“It is important for Dennis Praet to now find the right club to join.
“If he chooses the Premier League then he must sign for a team with footballing abilities, NOT for teams like Sunderland or Newcastle because they are going under (struggling and potentially relegated).”
A compilation of his goals and skills below, from his time at Anderlecht.