NEWCASTLE want to smash their transfer record again with a £40million bid for Hoffenheim's Brazilian striker Joelinton, according to reports.
Miguel Almiron’s arrival in January for £20.7million smashed the club’s previous record fee that stood for 14 years but the Magpies are set to top the sum again.
Michael Owen had held that mantle ever since joining for £16.8m from Real Madrid way back in 2005, but owner Mike Ashley is set to break that twice this year.
Newcastle showed interest in signing Joelinton in the January window but Hoffenheim wanted to keep the Samba star as they had no time to find a replacement.
The 22-year-old- who has scored seven goals and provided five assists in 23 Bundesliga starts this season – has remained linked with a move to Tyneside.
However, Joelinton's current contract runs until 2022 and the Brazilian striker is adamant he will still be at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena next term.
I'm very happy here and happy to play for Hoffenheim
He told Kicker: "I have a contract here, whether we are in Europe or not. That has no influence.
"I will continue to play here, with or without Champions League football. I'm very happy here and happy to play for Hoffenheim."
Joelinton's reluctance over a move to Tyneside may aid Rafa Benitez's battle to keep on-loan striking hit Salomon Rondon with owner Ashley eyeing younger signings.
Toon chief Benitez's transfer priority has been to turn West Brom star Rondon's loan deal into a £16.5million permanent switch this summer.
The former Zenit Saint Petersburg ace has hit nine goals and provided five assists this season as Newcastle have revived to a healthy 13th place.
And Benitez's fight to keep him could even affect the manager's own future as his contract runs out at the end of the campaign.
The ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid chief said of Rondon last month: “Everybody can see he is doing well.
“He is playing well, he is scoring goals, he is giving others the opportunity to go forward, he is doing a lot of good things.
“In terms of his attitude on the pitch, he is working really hard."
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