‘A special athlete’ - Newcastle United and West Ham United eyeing Hungary star

Newcastle United and two Premier League rivals are considering a move for a defender that has shone at domestic and international level.

Hungary international Attila Szalai is reportedly on the radar of Newcastle United as they look to strengthen their defensive ranks during the next two transfer windows.

The Fenerbache centre-back has been linked with a move to Tyneside over the last year after impressing with the Turkish giants and an international level with Hungary. Szalai joined Fener in a £1.2m deal from Cypriot side Apollon Limassol in January 2021 and has been a regular figure in their side in the time that has passed.

In total, the 6ft 4 defender has scored five goals in 90 appearances including a strike in a Champions League qualifying defeat against Dynamo Kiev earlier this year. Szalai has also impressed at international level and was part of the Hungary side that beat England home and away in the Nations League.

Speaking recently about the consistent centre-back, Fenerbache manager Jorge Jesus said: “We only have two inside defenders, Szalai and Serdar Aziz, the former played every match, so he is playing football on the verge of injury. Unfortunately, if the championship is paused, he will get more playing minutes in the national team as well. However, Szalai is not an average player, but a special athlete. Physically he is still in good condition, he has not had any injuries, so he has no choice but to play”

His form and determination to play has reportedly brought the defender on to the radar of clubs around Europe and he could be one to watch during the January transfer window.

Turkish outlet Turkiye Gazetesi have claimed the Magpies are one of three Premier League clubs watching the powerful defender, with Leicester City and West Ham United also credited with an interest in Szalai. Serie A club Bologna are also said to be interested.