Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo have bizarrely claimed Newcastle are set to sign former Sunderland fullback Javier Manquillo.
So sure is the Barcelona-based outlet, they claim the 23-year-old right-back is set for a medical on Tyneside today.
Manquillo is up for sale this summer after Atletico failed to sell him last year and he ended up at the Stadium of Light in a late-August loan deal.
Having also played for Liverpool, the full back does possess Premier League experience and with his current deal in Madrid expiring next summer he may not cost too much.
At one point last year, said newspaper, Mundo Deportivo, were claiming Sunderland would be obliged to sign Manquillo for 11-million-euros should he make 25 appearances for the Black Cats. That assertion was denied by the Stadium of Light hierarchy and in the end the player only managed 20 outings in the Premier League and returned to Spain at the end of the season.
With suggestions Rafa Benitez has been unhappy with the progress made by the Magpies so far this summer in the transfer window, a move for Manquillo would raise eyebrows further.
Especially considering this summation we concluded at the end of the season. Should any visiting Newcastle fans be seeking information on what they would be getting in Manquillo, here’s a neat introduction:
As for Javier Manquillo, it is impossible to build any case for the Spaniard getting another shot at English football.
Despite seeming to possess the physical characteristics required of a Premier League full-back, the 23-year-old lacks the pace and ability to impact on games. Questionable defensively, Manquillo has been reduced to a bit-part player after losing his place at right-back after starting in Sunderland's first eight games following his summer arrival.
A flurry of recent appearances at left-back following injury to Bryan Oviedo may have reaffirmed his versatility and made his spell at Sunderland appear a little more worthwhile, but Manquillo has been another disappointment.
The Spaniard clearly found the peak of his level last season in Ligue 1 with Marseille with French football containing a host of weaker opponents than he has faced in the Premier League this season. Fittingly, Manquillo would probably do well in the Championship.
Manquillo’s versatility was hailed as a selling point and he can operate at left-back or right-back and Newcastle do have recent history of taking a look at defenders who have previously been on loan at Sunderland after they signed DeAndre Yedlin last summer.