Newcastle United ‘can start to dream’ about signing players like Enzo Fernandez if they qualify for the Champions League, journalist Dean Jones has told GiveMeSport.
The 21-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premier League in recent weeks following his impressive exploits for both Benfica and Argentina this season.
Newcastle United transfer news – Enzo Fernandez
Argentine outlet La Capital has claimed that Liverpool have already ‘signed a pre-agreement’ with Benfica for Fernandez’s signature.
It’s claimed that the Anfield outfit moved quickly for the central midfielder to fend off competition from Premier League rivals Manchester United and Manchester City.
However, those reports appear to be premature, and 90min has revealed that Newcastle were among the clubs tracking Fernandez’s progress.
The Magpies’ manager Eddie Howe was even quizzed on the South American in a recent press conference following the speculation and admitted that he is ‘aware’ of him.
“I’m aware of him, and I know him. But I think the transfer fee might be quite lumpy,” said Howe.
What has Jones said about Newcastle?
Jones has stated to GMS that Newcastle may come into the ‘conversation’ for a top-four finish this season which would open the door to signings such as Fernandez.
Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know
He said: “Of course, Newcastle could come into this conversation of being a Champions League club by the end of the season.
“And that’s even more of a reason for them to keep striving to make that top four because everything changes once you do that, and they can then start to dream of signings like Enzo Fernandez.”
Would Fernandez be a good signing?
Fernandez is known to have a €120 million (£102m) release clause written into his Benfica contract, and his statistics indicate he could be worth every penny.
The technically gifted star has registered three goals and five assists in 23 appearances for Benfica so far this season while also putting up some eye-catching underlying numbers.
As per FBref, Fernandez has ranked in the 99th percentile for progressive passes, 98th for shot-creating actions, 97th for non-penalty expected goals, 96th for total shots, and 85th for touches in the attacking penalty area amongst his positional peers over the last year.
Qualifying for next term’s Champions League will surely be crucial if Newcastle are to have any chance of signing Fernandez, but he certainly appears to have the potential to take the north east outfit to the next level.
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