Florian Lejeune thought he was being pranked when Rafa Benitez phoned to offer him the chance of a move to Newcastle.

The centre-back completed a move to St James' Park on Tuesday, joining from La Liga side Eibar for a fee of around £8.7m.



Lejeune has experience of being signed by a Premier League club, having joined Manchester City in the summer of 2015, but he was loaned out to Girona straight away and then joined Eibar last summer.

"Getting a call from Rafael Benitez was absolutely amazing, and I could only say yes. It was like a dream," Lejeune said.

"When I got the call, I thought it was a prank so I didn't say anything. After a few hours, I said, 'Yes, that's Rafael Benitez', so I had to say yes.

"He was very important to my decision. For many years, my career was going up and down and up and down.

"He's a great coach. Everyone knows him and he has won lots of trophies - that is Rafa Benitez. Newcastle is a very big club with a fantastic history.

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