Robson admits Simao admiration
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Magpies recently completed the capture of Hugo Viana from Sporting, and it has been suggested they are set to make a second dip into the Portuguese market.
When asked about Simao, Robson said: "He is a great player, an interesting player who is lightning quick.
"I have seen him playing for Barcelona and know that he had a good start to his career with Benfica.
"But at the moment he is recovering from an injury."
When asked to comment on the possibility of a bid being lodged, Robson simply said: "There are hundreds of players who we like, but it is not our policy to speak about players we are interested in, as you saw with Hugo Viana.
"Nobody knew anything about that deal and it came as a great surprise to many when we signed him."
Former England boss Robson has a number of quality contacts in Portugal, having coached at Sporting and Porto earlier in his career, and he may look for more information prior to lodging a firm bid.
Simao missed out on making Portugal`s World Cup squad after picking up a knee injury, and he will have to prove his fitness before any bid is lodged.
Benfica are keen to keep the 22-year-old winger, after he sparkled last term, and it would take a bid in excess of £7 million to prise him away from Estadio da Luz.
Simao moved to Benfica at the start of last season, after finding himself down the pecking order at Barca, and he was in superb form for the Portuguese side, scoring 11 goals in 26 appearances before his campaign was cruelly cut short by a knee injury.
The winger picked up the injury during Portugal`s friendly defeat by Finland, with a six-month recovery period forecasted.
He should be back in action at some point in the autumn, when any interest could be firmed up.