The three-cap Portuguese international has been a key performer for FC Porto in the Sergio Conceicao era. He has once again been influential in the final third for Porto, racking up five goals and 12 assists in 40 appearances.
According to Portuguese outlet A Bola, Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe is keen on signing Porto star Otavio in the summer. After enjoying another solid campaign in the Liga NOS, he has no shortage of suitors, with Manchester United and Liverpool keen on securing his services.
A right midfielder by trade, Otavio, 27, has racked up 228 appearances for FC Porto since joining from Brazilian outfit Internacional back in 2014. After spending one and half seasons on loan with Vitoria de Guimaraes, he returned to Estadio do Dragao ahead of the 2016/17 campaign and has since established himself as a mainstay in Porto’s first XI.
However, the Portuguese midfielder is secured by a €60 million release clause after signing an extension with the club until 2025 last year, the report adds.
Otavio to Newcastle United—Should the Magpies make a move?
Newcastle United could be in for another spending spree in the summer after having added Bruno Guimaraes, Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Dan Burn and Matt Targett (on loan) to their ranks in January to aid their survival battle. And the new signings have made an immediate impression on the squad, helping Eddie Howe’s side to 14th on the table.
With the Magpies a few wins away from guaranteeing safety in the top flight, Howe and the board have started planning for the summer transfer window. And the latest player to be linked with the club is Porto’s Otavio.
Newcastle are likely targeting Otavio as a direct competitor for Miguel Almiron after seeing him impress with his ability to create chances, make assists and score goals from the right midfield. The Portuguese international has mostly operated on the right-hand side this season, but his ability to play anywhere in the attacking unit, coupled with his energy, dribbling skills and creativity, should appeal to Howe.
The 27-year-old midfielder has given a good account of himself by averaging 11.8 shots, 1.2 aerials duels won, 2 key passes, 0.3 through balls and 1.1 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Liga NOS. He has shown a lot of flexibility while interchanging positions with his teammates and supplying the goods in the final third, as evidenced by his three goals and 11 assists in 25 league appearances, thus, helping Porto emerge as the favourites in the race for the league title this season. (stats courtesy: whoscored)
Given Otavio’s impact and rise in stature in the last few years under Sergio Conceicao at the Estadio do Dragao, Newcastle United must not hesitate to trigger his €60 million release clause when the transfer window reopens.