As Newcastle look to solve their left-back issues, Swiss international Loris Benito is the latest name to be linked.
The player is said to be heading to Newcastle, despite interest from both Watford and Burnley, according to the report.
The player’s contract at Young Boys expires next month, and he bid an emotional farewell to fans after their Super League celebrations.
Given the current managerial position, Newcastle fans will take any transfer speculation with a pinch of salt.
MORE NEWCASTLE STORIES
If Rafa Benitez’s targets are being approached before a contract is signed, it could suggest a deal is close.
It would be hard to see them approaching players recommended by the Spaniard if he was leaving. Any new man would have his own plans, which would not necessarily align with Rafa’s.
Although Benito is outside the age parameters set by Mike Ashley, as a free transfer, the move could be given the green light.
Competition at left-back has been a problem for a while
Left-back has long been a problem for Newcastle, with Rafa constantly bemoaning his lack of options there.
His reliance on Matt Ritchie to operate as a wing-back has been successful, but he has insisted on competition for every position – something that is lacking on the left side of defence.
Benito made 42 starts for the Swiss champions last season. He also has three international appearances since making his debut in November 2018.
Should Rafa be manager next season, Benito could provide him with the cover he craves. It would also expand his formation options.
All in all, it would be a sensible signing for the Magpies, and with no transfer fee involved, it would have minimal risk.