According to a report from Record (via Sport Witness), the Magpies are ‘willing to shell out nearly €12m’ for the 25-year-old, who came through the Benfica academy as a youngster. But Record also state that the highly-rated midfielder has a ‘€30m buyout clause’.
If that is true, it would complicate things, as - as we all know - Mike Ashley isn’t known to enjoy spending vast sums of money on signing players at Newcastle. Joelinton did become Newcastle’s record signing in the summer for around £40m, but the purchase of the Brazilian forward has yielded just one Premier League goal so far.
Braga are highly unlikely to part with a player who has scored 18 goals from midfield so far this season for as little as €12m, which is around £10m. In addition, his contract at Braga runs all the way until 2024. In that time, there is a good chance a great many other clubs will register interest in the Portuguese star.
Partly down to a rotten run of luck with injuries, Steve Bruce has really struggled to find a regular source of goals this term. Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is the club’s top scorer this season with only five goals, so Horta would certainly be a jigsaw piece that Newcastle can't already claim to have.
Horta was a regular fixture for Portugal at youth level, but has only registered one full international cap to date – as a substitute in a 2014 qualifier against Albania. However, many have tipped him to make Portugal's Euro 2020 squad, something that would only increase his market value.
Despite Ashley's reluctance to spend, Newcastle were by no means absent in the January transfer window. Three high profile players joined the club on loan – Tottenham full back Danny Rose, Valentino Lazaro of Interm and former Premier League midfielder Nabil Bentaleb.