Tammy Abraham could have joined Newcastle United - Rafael Benitez

Stu Forster/Getty Images
The 20-year-old moved to South Wales in the summer but the Magpies boss revealed he would have been at the St. James' Park
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.”