Tammy Abraham of Swansea CityStu Forster/Getty Images

Tammy Abraham could have joined Newcastle United - Rafael Benitez

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has admitted they were close to signing Tammy Abraham on loan from Chelsea in the summer.

The 20-year-old striker returned to Stamford Bridge at the back of a successful loan spell with Bristol City in the Championship. And with first team football not guaranteed by Antonio Conte, he was a loan option.

Abraham drew lot of interest from a number of English Premier League sides including Newcastle and Swansea City

Unable to complete a deal with the Toons, the Anglo-Nigerian joined Paul Clement's side where he has scored four goals in 11 league appearances which has earned a first England call-up.

Article continues below

“We knew that he [Abraham] was a player with potential and could go with the national team now or in the future. He was with the Under-21s,” Benitez told Chronicle Live.

“Yes Abraham could have been here, but he’s not here.

“We have to be sure we improve our players.”