Siem de Jong is reportedly set to rejoin former side Ajax this summer as his Newcastle future seemingly looks all but over.
The Daily Mail claim that the 28-year-old is set to leave the club as Newcastle look to offload a number of their reserve stars in order to free up some more transfer funds to bolster his side in their fight against relegation.
It is said that six-time Holland international de Jong has decided to reject a £2million move to Championship side Reading in order to move to Ajax, after spending the 2016-17 season on loan with PSV Eindhoven.
The playmaker has three years remaining on his current contract at St. James’ Park, but it looks likely that the Toon are set to accept a huge loss on de Jong, who cost £8million back in the summer of 2014.
His stay with the Toon has been marred with constant injury problems and although he has put those demons behind him following his spell at PSV, Benitez is still keen to offload the attacker.
This Is Futbol considers if a move to sell de Jong this summer is a good deal for Newcastle, and whether a move can be struck in the next week.
Good move for Newcastle?
Benitez has watched in agony from the touchline in Newcastle’s opening two matches against Tottenham and Huddersfield, with his Toon side lacking in any kind of creativity in attack.
Ayoze Perez has failed to shine in the attacking midfield role, while Mohamed Diame has hardly been used by the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager.
The number 10 position is likely to be high on Benitez’s agenda in terms of recruitment, but after de Jong scored seven goals for PSV last season, surely he is worth another shot on Tyneside?
Selling him for just £2million, if Ajax matched Reading’s bid, is an awful bit of business for the Toon and they could be about to sell what could have been their secret weapon of 2017-18.
This Is Futbol rating: 2/10.
Likely to happen?
De Jong is likely to be tempted by a return to his boyhood club, where he shone alongside Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen as he helped the Dutch giants win four Eredivisie titles.
Benitez is desperate to sell a number of his fringe stars including the likes of Tim Krul, Henri Saivet, Manu Riviere and Grant Hanley, and de Jong is likely to be on that list.
With a move to Reading agreed before de Jong pulled out of joining fellow countryman Jaap Stam at the Madjeski Stadium, a return to Ajax looks more than likely to be agreed.
The only stumbling block seems to be if Ajax and Newcastle can agree a deal before the end of the transfer window.
This Is Futbol rating: 9/10.