Rafa Benitez NOT keen on signing Nottingham Forest star Henri Lansbury as Watford and Derby eye ace
Newcastle United have been linked with a shock move for Nottingham Forest's Henri Lansbury - but he isn't on Rafa Benitez's wishlist.
Benitez is keen to add to his squad for the promotion push and has identified a creative midfielder and a winger as areas to strengthen.
However, Newcastle are unlikely to move for Lansbury - out of contract in the summer - with Benitez having identified other targets than the former Arsenal man.
Lansbury's antics in the 2-1 defeat against Forest earlier this month, which resulted in Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett both being red-carded - decisions which were later overturned - made the 26-year-old public enemy No 1 with Newcastle fans, and even Benitez was unhappy with the player.
He said: "You could see in the game we have a lot of things we can complain about. But I was really surprised with Lansbury. The way he was acting, twice with the penalties and also with Jonjo Shelvey, but maybe he's proud of himself.
"If the referee cannot see that Lansbury was kicking Jonjo before, I will not defend Jonjo as he made a mistake, but [Lansbury] was kicking him before from behind. Sometimes the FA take action also on the players that are over-reacting, so [maybe that will happen here].
"[With Dummett's sending off] it was very clear the No 10 (Lansbury) was waiting for him. So maybe again the FA can analyse this and see the behaviour of the No 10."
Lansbury has proven to be an effective Championship performer. He had scored six goals this season with three assists in 19 games for a struggling side, and possesses excellent set-piece delivery.
Shelvey's suspension for the defeat against Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day illustrated a lack of creativity in his absence in the Newcastle midfield, but Benitez doesn't see Lansbury as the right fit for United, as he continues to monitor the situations regarding Fabian Delph, at Manchester City, and Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
In a further twist, Forest travel to St James's Park tonight for a Championship clash but the former Arsenal midfielder is unlikely to feature because of injury.
Lansbury's contract situation has seen him linked with a number of clubs, including Championship rivals Derby County and Birmingham City, as well as Premier League outfit Watford, where he had a successful loan spell in 2010.
Former Newcastle manager Steve McClaren, when asked about signing Lansbury for Derby, said: "His is one a number of names being bandied about at the moment and I think the thing that has alerted all the clubs to Lansbury is I think he's out of contract in the summer."