Newcastle linked with £42m defender and Liverpool prospect

Manchester City's Eliaquim Mangala
Manchester City's Eliaquim Mangala
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Rafa Benitez could make a second attempt to sign Liverpool youngster Sheyi Ojo on loan.

The Newcastle boss has a long-standing interest in the 19-year-old prospect, and was linked with a move for him in January.

And Benitez will monitor the player’s availability during the summer as he looks to add more width to his squad before the season starts.

The Mags chief has already signed Christian Atsu on a permanent deal, but with Yoan Gouffran and Sammy Ameobi set to move on after their contracts expire, and Rolando Aarons’ injury-hit record, Benitez needs more cover in wide areas.

Ojo is highly-rated at Anfield, where Benitez still has a number of contacts from his days there as a Champions League-winning manager. However, the England youth international is just one of a handful of names linked with Newcastle, both home and abroad, as Benitez steps up his search for reinforcements ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Andros Townsend remains a player Benitez would like to see back on Tyneside, having failed to sign him in January, and he remains firmly on Newcastle’s radar still.

Elsewhere, out-of-favour Manchester City defender Eliaquin Mangala was strongly linked with Newcastle over the weekend.

The 26-year-old cost City £42million in 2014 from Porto but would be available at a fraction of that price after being told he has no future at the club under Pep Guardiola.

Mangala spent the season on loan at Valencia, where he played 30 times, and the Spanish side are understood to be keen on making his move permanent this summer.

The French international is one of a number of centre-halves believed to being considered by Benitez.

One defender who looks to be on his way out of Newcastle, however, is Grant Hanley. The Scottish international continues to be linked with a host of Championship clubs.