Less than three weeks to go now until the transfer window opens, with an ‘exclusive’ on Wednesday morning claiming Newcastle are going to go in and sign Andreas Samaris.
The ‘exclusive’ comes from The Mirror, who say that Newcastle are set to pick up a bargain.
The only problem is that the newspaper have been running this exclusive for some time.
Ever since Newcastle were promoted back in May 2017, The Mirror have been running exclusives saying Rafa Benitez is going to buy the Greek midfielder.
Back in June 2017 (see below), The Mirror ran an exclusive saying Newcastle were bringing in Andreas Samaris for £17.5m.
By the time we got to the last (summer 2018) transfer window they had Newcastle once again interested but £10m asking price allegedly put them off.
Now Rafa is supposedly set to land the midfielder for nothing…
The Mirror claim the player is a ‘firm fans’ favourite’ in Portugal.
A bit of a strange fans’ favourite when you look and see he hardly ever gets off the bench, in the last two and a half years he has only started 13 league matches and this campaign has only played five minutes as a sub in two brief league appearances.
Andreas Samaris turns 30 in June and it would be amazing if Benfica didn’t want to get him off their books as a free transfer in January because they clearly have no interest in playing him.
In these past two and a half seasons, Andreas Samaris has only contributed one goal and one assist in the league, so he wouldn’t exactly be helping Newcastle in that respect, if indeed this lame transfer saga had any real legs.
It is the start of the silly season and no doubt we’ll all be proved wrong when by the end of January, Andreas Samaris will be lining up for Newcastle with Bas Dost, Andy Carroll and the other host of players NUFC are linked with every single window…
The Mirror ‘Exclusive’ – 12 December 2018:
EXCLUSIVE: Benfica wanted £10m when Newcastle looked in the summer but Andreas Samaris will be cheaper as contract nears end
Newcastle are ready to go back in for Benfica’s Andreas Samaris when the transfer window reopens.
Rafa Benitez made a summer enquiry about Greece international Samaris, but the Portuguese giants’ £10million asking price put the Magpies off.
However, the 29-year-old is on course to be out of contract in Lisbon at the end of the season.
Samaris hopes to get a free transfer next month, and even if Benfica won’t agree to that his looming free agency means he’ll be significantly cheaper for Newcastle than he was in the summer.
Capped 33 times by his country, Samaris joined Benfica from Olympiakos back home in 2014 and has helped them win the title in all but one of his four seasons.
Despite being a firm fans’ favourite in Portugal, the holding midfielder has set his heart on a move to the Premier League.
The Mag – 23 June 2017:
Friday afternoon has seen an exclusive, reporting that Newcastle are set to pay 20m euros (approx £17.5m) to secure the services of Andreas Samaris.
The combative midfielder turned 28 earlier this month and plays his international football for Greece.
Andreas Samaris moved from Olympiakos to Benfica for 10m euros (just under £9m) in 2014, so if this deal did happen, it would see the Portuguese club double their money.
The exclusive comes from Newcastle United’s official media partner, The Mirror, and they say that Rafa Benitez has been working on this deal for the past six weeks, since the Championship season ended basically.
The Mirror report says that quite correctly, Andreas Samaris has helped Benfica win the domestic league title in each of the last three years he has been in Portugal.
However, he has had an ever diminishing involvement.
His first season (2014/15) saw 27 league starts and one appearance off the bench.
Then the second (2015/16) season saw a reduced 19 starts and eight from the subs bench.
Finally, last (2016/17) season Andreas Samaris started only nine league matches with another nine as a sub, sitting on the bench 21 times in total.
Also, if the midfielder did arrive, don’t expect goals to be his strength, Samaris has only scored twice in three years of league football in Portugal.
Difficult to put a price on any player’s head in this crazy transfer market but obviously Newcastle wouldn’t be getting one of Benfica’s best players here, so every chance that if the midfielder wasn’t signed, he wouldn’t create a new transfer record beating the £16m wasted on Michael Owen.
Also worth mentioning that despite being Newcastle United’s official media partner, past experience doesn’t suggest that they get value for money from their involvement, certainly not when it comes to getting privileged information.
The arrangement started with a very embarrassing pair of exclusives.
The Mirror claiming that Charlie Austin had signed for Newcastle, then following that up by stating as fact that Saido Berahino was also definitely signing for Newcastle…