Newcastle United are prepared to make a fresh effort to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica, according to an exclusive in Tuesday’s edition of O Jogo.

The Portuguese newspaper state the Magpies are ‘tightening’ their grip on the striker, as they desperately look for more quality reinforcements during the January transfer window.

Eddie Howe needs to add to his squad if he’s to have a realistic chance of steering the club away from the relegation zone, with a battle in the Championship next season not really what Newcastle have in mind.

According to the report, the Premier League club had been ready to spend €50m on the Uruguayan, but such a figure didn’t satisfy Benfica for a move in the winter market, with them preferring to keep the player until the summer.

Now it’s stated Newcastle ‘could even reach €60m’ as they look to get a deal done.

Benfica are still reluctant to sell for such a fee, with the Lisbon club having ambitious, and perhaps unrealistic, ideas about the player’s value. It’s explained Benfica are waiting for Atletico Madrid to make a move, potentially after selling Joao Felix.

Darwin Nunez Newcastle €60m
Darwin Nunez Newcastle €60m

A Joao Felix sale is only likely at the end of the season, so that’s another reason for Benfica to wait.

However, given Atletico Madrid will surely now feel they overpaid for Joao Felix, a player who cost them more than €120m, they’re hardly going to want to send the same club an inflated fee for Darwin Nunez.

Therefore, if this €60m does actually arrive from Newcastle then it surely has to be a serious consideration for Benfica.

Of course, there’s every chance the English club, and their new found wealth, are being used by Benfica to hype the value of their player ahead of the summer transfer window.