Champions League boost as Newcastle United target £75m ‘total package’

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The Magpies are said to be planning an ambitious move for a player wanted by Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Newcastle United’s successful push for a Champions League place has boosted their chances of landing one of European football’s top talents - according to reports in Spain.

Plans for the summer transfer window were already well underway by the time the Magpies secured the point they needed to return to European football’s elite club competition when they were held to a goalless draw by Leicester City on Monday night.

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United recruitment staff have been hard at work around European with the Magpies said to have taken in games in Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Portugal’s Primeira Liga. But it is the Bundesliga where the latest speculation resides after Sky Sports News reported Newcastle had scouted RB Leipzig’s attacking midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai on at least two occaions in recent months as the Hungary international has played a lead role in his club’s Champions League push.

Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby is also said to be a long-term target of the Magpies - but it is one of his team-mates that is said to have caught the eye and has peaked the interest of representatives from Tyneside. Spanish outlet Fichajes has reported United have an interest in attacking midfielder Florian Wirtz and believe qualifying for the Champions League has boosted their hopes of landing the six-times capped Germany international.

The youngster’s form landing him a first call-up to the Germany squad in September 2021 after he led their Under-21s to a European Championship win just months earlier. Speaking after calling Wirtz into the Germany squad for World Cup 2022 qualifiers against Iceland and Romania, coach Hansi Flick said: “Florian is just a huge asset for this team through his carefreeness,” Flick said at a press conference ahead of Germany’s qualifier against Iceland. “He’s simply an outstanding technician, loves to play, very creative, has a good shot, runs hard and is quick. He’s got a good total package.”

After recovering from a cruciate ligament tear, Wirtz has scored four goals and provided eight assists in 24 appearances in all competitions this season as Bayer push for a European place. The report in Fichajes suggests Newcastle have identified the 20-year-old as a target as they look to make ‘an important leap in quality’ in their squad as they prepare to take on European football’s elite next season and have stated his ‘great performances’ have led to the Magpies joining Barcelona and Real Madrid in considering a move for his services.

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