Newcastle Utd face transfer scrap with Atletico Madrid over £26.5m target

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Newcastle Utd have reportedly set their sights on CSKA Moscow right-back Mario Fernandes, but he won’t come cheap with a £26.5m bid being touted.

The 28-year-old has established himself as a key figure for the Russian giants, making 217 appearances for them since joining in 2012.

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Further, the Brazilian-born ace has 16 caps for the Russian national team, gaining plenty of interest for his impressive displays at the 2018 World Cup, pairing tireless defensive work with his attacking quality to get up and down the right flank.

In turn, the Daily Star now claim that both Newcastle and Atletico Madrid hold an interest in him, with a £26.5m offer perhaps enough to prise him away from the Russian capital.

However, from a Newcastle perspective, they will surely have to wrap up a new deal for Rafa Benitez to commit his future to the club first, with his current contract set to expire this summer.

Assuming that the Spanish tactician wants to stay at St James’ Park, the quicker the two parties can reach an agreement the better as it will then allow them to plan for the rest of the summer and next season in terms of bringing in reinforcements to suit the manager’s plans.

With that in mind, it seems unlikely that Newcastle will make any signings until that situation is resolved, meaning that they could run the risk of missing out on targets like Fernandes if Atleti are serious about taking him to Spain.

Time will tell how the situation plays out, but securing Benitez’s future will arguably be the top priority having led the club to a respectable 13th-placed finish in the Premier League this past season.

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