According to The Sun, Newcastle United have entered the race to sign Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata this summer.
The 31-year-old is yet to make a decision over his Old Trafford future with his current deal running out this summer, and the Magpies are ready to rival Barcelona and a host of suitors for his free signing.
Manager Rafa Benitez wants a reunion with the Spaniard after they worked briefly together at Chelsea, but he will need the club to change their policy of not signing old players.
The former Liverpool boss also wants Newcastle to start paying a more competitive salary, and those two factors will go a long way to determine if they have a chance of landing Mata.
The Spaniard earns £140,000-per-week at United, and it remains to be seen if Newcastle – a club which hesitate to sign players older than 26 due to their sell-on value – will be willing to match that.
Benitez is hoping for a proper summer rebuild this summer in order to challenge in the top-half of the Premier League table, as he is not satisfied with having to battle relegation every other campaign.
He is yet to commit his future to the club, and he seems he will take his time before doing so, as he wants to be certain of the plans owner Mike Ashley has for him and Newcastle going forward.