Newcastle are looking to sign Dries Mertens on a free basis, according to Benitez, who played for Napoli in 2013 but was rewarded with a move.
Mertens, who is 35 years old, is on the verge of leaving Napoli nine years after joining the club. He is the club''s all-time best-time goalcorer with 148 goals ahead of Diego Maradona. He has played 397 games for the club.
He was still a 11-time goalkeeper for Roberto Martinez''s Belgium side, boasting 104 caps to his name. So, there are a few miles left in the tank, and reports say Leeds, Newcastle, and Palace are all interested.
While managing Mertens after joining Napoli from PSV Benitez was lauded for the attacker. Following a 2-1 victory over Marseille, Benitez praised the Belgian''s performance.
As per Sports Mole, it seems easy for me to choose a player like Dries Mertens when he is so hard in training. Objet: Whether or not he still has that work rate at 35, remains to be seen.
Benitez praise as Newcastle eyeing Mertens
Mertens has remained a player capable of playing in the biggest leagues. The question is whether or not he will be able to adapt to the Premier League at this late stage in his career. He is likely to have a year or two left at this level.
Toon supporters would be slammed for making a move to Newcastle. Despite his age, Mertens is a huge name and would certainly excite the Toon faithful even if he is only brought in on a contract for one or two years.
Benitez''s judgement on Mertens is a proof of that. The former manager of Toronto is known for never giving specific praise to players in the press so, and to get such a great verdict from Benitez, shows how good Mertens is.