Newcastle United defender Javier Manquillo is all set to leave the club in the January transfer window, according to a report from The Athletic.
Spanish club Celtic Vigo are looking to sign the 29-year-old, and he is emerging as a “top target” (Mirror, 19 January) for their manager Rafael Benitez.
Chris Waugh claims that Manquilo is “close to leaving” Newcastle, while the Daily Mail (printed edition, 19 January) adds that he has already left St James’ Park to reach an agreement with Celta Vigo.
If the moves go through, it will be the second time Bentinez will have signed him, having brought him to Newcastle from Atletico Madrid in 2017. Manquillo has previously played for Liverpool and Sunderland.
Benitez joined Celta Vigo in the summer and the Spanish club are currently 16th in La Liga, just two points above the relegation zone. They are looking to sign a right-back, and have earmarked Manquillo as their prime target.
Newcastle need to offload some of their players to comply with the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability regulations (PSR).
While they are not expected to get a massive fee for Manquillo, the Magpies can atleast get rid of his £35k-per-week wages.
The defender is the fourth-choice right-back at the club behind Kieran Trippier, Tino Livramento, and Emil Kraft, and therefore his departure won’t make a big difference to the side. Moreover, his contract is due to expire at the end of the season, and the move suits all parties involved.
Manquillo has not made a first-team appearance this season due to a series of muscular injuries. However, he has recovered after a successful operation and now he is on his way to play under his former manager.
Newcastle are very close to their permitted PSR limit and they must remove some of their players to bring in new faces at the club. Joelinton is one of the players who could leave the club, while the Magpies could cash in on some of their top players as well next summer.
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