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Transfer Rumours

Antonio Araujo confirms Newcastle United interested in signing Rafa Silva

3 months ago
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Newcastle United are interested in signing Rafa Silva according to Antonio Araujo.

Araujo is the Benfica winger’s agent and has been talking about the player’s future.

He confirmed Newcastle’s interest when speaking to Portuguese media on Monday.

Interviewed by Radio Renascença, Sport Witness report that the agent stated Newcastle United have been following Rafa Silva ahead of a potential summer bid.

Antonio Araujo speaking to Radio Renascenca;

“They [Newcastle United] are one of those interested.

“Whatever happens, will happen.

“[For] Now, the main focus is to be champions [of Portugal].

“Benfica know what Rafa wants [if he is to sign a new contract], we are waiting calmly.

“I think it’s going to happen because there is a will from the club and there is Rafa’s will as well.

“The player is well at Benfica, now he wants to see his salary situation go to what he really represents for Benfica.”

It had previously been reported elsewhere, that Newcastle had been represented at Benfica’s match on Saturday.

With three games to go of the season, Benfica trailed Portimonense 1-0 but scored five times in the final half hour, with Rafa Silva getting the first two goals. This puts them two points clear at the top of the table with two games to go.

Signed for £15m from Braga in 2016, Rafa Silva has struggled to become an automatic first team choice. Starting just 12 and 13 league games in his first two seasons for Benfica, scoring just five goals over the course of those two league seasons.

This season has seen a major improvement with 15 goals in the league (19 all competitions) but still the winger has only started 19 of Benfica’s 32 league games so far.

A similar story in European competition, in 15 matches this season [Champions League and Europa League combined] he has started seven of them and been named on the bench eight times.

As usual, extreme caution with any transfer story but of course interesting that Silva’s agent names Newcastle United.

From the outside, it appears that the intention is to get Rafa Silva a better deal this summer, whether that is at Benfica or elsewhere. With obviously the potential that the agent is simply using other clubs, such as Newcastle, to put pressure on Benfica.

Rafa Silva is also a Portuguese international but very much a fringe player, starting just seven games in the past five years for his country.

The Benfica winger also has a 60m euros (£51m) release clause in his contract but this figure wouldn’t be reflected in any sale price if he does leave. It is common practice on the continent to put in very high release clauses just to protect against a player making  rapid improvement.

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