According to claims in the Israeli media, Newcastle United are preparing a bid for Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Viðar Örn Kjartansson.

As claim Rafael Benítez is willing to pay €8.5m for the 27 year old Icelandic international, who only joined Maccabi Tel Aviv a year ago from Swedish side Malmo for €3.5m.

They Israeli website describes Kjartansson’s proposed move to Newcastle United as ‘the surprise of the transfer window‘, and the club could accept the offer even though they too are looking for new additions to their squad.

It’s reported Newcastle United started to show an interest in the striker after they watched him play two weeks ago in the Europa League clash between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Rheindorf Altach.

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Kjartansson was close to a move to the UK four years ago, when he was invited for a trial by Scottish champions Celtic. However, he ended up signing for Valerenga, before joining Chinese side Jiangsu. He’s also played fourteen games for Iceland since making his debut four years ago.

However, respected Israeli journalist Raphael Gellar has played down Newcastle United’s intentions on Twitter. He said: “From everything I understand, this (Kjartansson’s move to Newcastle) is not going to happen.”

He added: “Newcastle have Aleksandar Mitrovic and Joselu upfront. If Dwight Gayle does go in the next few days, it could change, but it’s very unlikely.”

Benitez will be hoping to make some last minute additions to his squad with the deadline fast approaching. This window has been frustrating for the Newcastle United boss, and he recently urged the club’s leaders to bring in players.

Lukáš Vráblik