Rafa Benitez celebrates Newcastle win over Stoke

West Ham and Newcastle interested in Thiago Maia

The Evening Standard has reported that both Newcastle and West Ham are interested in signing Lille midfielder, Thiago Maia.

Rising star

Maia is just 21 years of age but he is already proving himself to be a quality player.

The Brazilian is naturally a centre defensive midfielder, however, he can also play central midfield and on occasions, central attacking midfield.

Maia began his career with Brazilian side Santos where he made his debut for their senior side in February of 2015.

The centre defensive mid played 75 games for Santos, scoring four and assisting two in that time.

Maia’s impressive two seasons at Santos would then earn him a move to Ligue 1 side Lille for a fee of around £12 million.

The Brazilin had an impressive debut campaign for Lille he played 37 games and was a big part of why Lille were able to avoid relegation.

Maia’s solid 2017/18 season clearly caught the eye of Newcastle and West Ham and we could very well be seeing the young Brazilian in the Premier League next season.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 24: Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United looks on prior to the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle United at Amex Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

A great 2017/18 season for Newcastle

When Newcastle United won promotion to the Premier League in 2016/17, many people believed they would struggle to stay up due to the lack of money spent on their squad.

On the surface, Newcastle do not exactly seem blessed with top Premier League talents. However, Rafa Benitez was able to guide what is quite an average Newcastle side to a 10th place finish in the Premier League.

A big part of why Newcastle were able to finish so high in the table was due to the performances of club captain Jamal Lascelles and a few other key players.

Now, however, given Newcastle finished in an impressive 10th place last season, they will need to bring in a few fresh faces in order to improve on their 2017/18 season and Maia could well be one of those new players if they can see off big spending West Ham.

Related: Official: Newcastle sign Salomon Rondon on loan from West Brom while Dwight Gayle moves in the opposite direction

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