Newcastle set to splash the cash as Benitez eyes Sampdoria midfielder

Newcastle United are hoping to sign Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet.

Italian media outlet Il Secolo XIX claim Rafa Benitez wants to seal a £13 million deal for the 23-year-old.

The Belgian attacking midfielder progressed through Anderlecht’s youth system, before breaking into the first-team in 2011.

He scored 27 goals in 182 appearances for the club, winning three Belgian Pro League titles before joining Sampdoria a year ago.

Praet quickly established himself in the first team, scoring once in 35 games.

Benitez has struggled to add to Newcastle’s squad since winning promotion from the Championship and he recently criticised the club’s transfer policy.

The Spaniard’s top summer signings were Jacob Murphy for £12m from Norwich and Florian Lejeune from Eibar for £8.7m, but he has largely been frustrated in his efforts to sign players.

Benitez made striker Joselu his sixth summer signing earlier this week when he sealed a £5m switch from Stoke, but the Spaniard believes more additions are needed if the club is make an impact on the Premier League.

Newcastle were outclassed by Tottenham on the opening day of the season and they face a tricky trip to Huddersfield on Sunday.