The Athletic have today released an intriguing update on Newcastle United’s search for defensive reinforcements this summer.
Starting with Kristoffer Ajer, the report states that the 6ft 6′ Celtic defender remains the club’s ‘preferred’ target at centre-back, revealing that the club remain ‘hopeful’ he’ll sign at St James’ Park.
That said, they insist that we’re reluctant to get drawn into a bidding war after the likes of Norwich and Bayer Levekusen have joined the race – hoping instead that he’ll push for a move to Tyneside after our ‘extensive scouting’ and long-standing interest.
Elsewhere, The Athletic reveal that Graeme Jones has urged our recruitment team to take a closer look at Cameron Carter-Vickers.
The USA international is a centre-back Jones has worked with during spells at Bournemouth and Luton, and it’s said the 23-year-old is ‘under consideration’ after a ‘glowing recommendation’ from the NUFC coach currently involved with the England set up at Euro 2020.
Chris Waugh’s piece also names William Saliba as another player of interest, stating that Steve Bruce’s positive relationship with Mikel Arteta could encourage Arsenal to send the highly-rated Frenchman our way on loan. They reckon Newcastle are ‘optimistic’ a deal can be struck here given how well Willock’s loan move went.
Ozan Kabak – a Turkish CB we looked set to sign in January before Liverpool swooped in – is said to be a player our club scouts ‘admire’, however it’s said we will only pursue this option if Schalke are willing to significantly reduce their current asking price of around £18m.
Last but not least, The Athletic state that Steve Bruce’s contacts at Man Utd have seen us enquire about the availability of Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams and Phil Jones.
So, Ajer appears to be the top target if we can avoid a bidding war, Jones is urging us to look at Carter-Vickers and there’s a host of other ‘plan Bs’ we could consider if a move for the Celtic star doesn’t come off.