Newcastle scouts eye ex-Leeds winger as Rafa Benitez reveals transfer plans

Alfonso Pedrazza in action against Newcastle last season.
Alfonso Pedrazza in action against Newcastle last season.
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Newcastle United are tracking former Leeds United winger Alfonso Pedraza.

Villarreal’s Pedraza has been watched by the club’s scouts this season playing for loan club Alaves.

Alfonso Pedrazza

Alfonso Pedrazza

Pedraza spent the second half of last season on loan at Elland Road.

The 21-year-old played at St James’s Park in April when Leeds held Newcastle to a 1-1 draw in the Championship.

Pedraza, under contract at Villarreal until 2021, is a Spain Under-21 team-mate of Newcastle midfielder Mikel Merino, signed on a permanent deal from Borussia Dortmund earlier this month.

Southampton have also watched Pedraza.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez and his staff are identifying targets ahead of January’s transfer window.

Benitez does not know how much he will have to spend, given that the club could be under new ownership by Christmas.

Owner Mike Ashley, however, has pledged to back Benitez in the New Year should a sale not be completed in time.

“We are working on what we have to do, what we would like to do, but you never know,” said Benitez, whose side is seventh in the league.

“But imagine in December you have an injury, then you are expecting more money on a certain player, then you have to spend however much money for a striker because they are more expensive.

“I think for us now, we have names and we have options and are following players. We have as much information as we can for everyone.

“Then you have to bring players here in order for them to adapt here. It’s not as if you are bringing a player who you know straight away will be fantastic.”

Pedraza helped Spain win the Under-19 European Championship two years ago, playing alongside Merino.