‘My clear wish’ - Bundesliga official delivers hint on future of Newcastle United and Inter Milan target

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The defender has attracted significant interest in recent weeks.

Newcastle United are reportedly involved in a three-way battle to sign Croatian defender Borna Sosa.

The former Dinamo Zagreb left-back has forged a strong reputation as a regular provider of goals since joining Bundesliga club VFB Stuttgart in a £4m move in July 2018. After suffering a relegation during his first season in Germany, Sosa made 12 appearances to help Die Roten bounce back into the top tier at the first attempt.

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Becoming a regular over the following two seasons, the 24-year-old provided 19 assists in 58 appearances in all competitions and was said to be the subject of interest from Premier League giants Manchester City and Chelsea earlier this year. Despite his side’s poor start to the season, Sosa’s form has continued with eight assists in 13 appearances and the defender has spoken of his positive development since his move to Germany.

He told the official Bundesliga website: “I think that I’ve reached a level at this club where I’ve become an important part of the team. There are players in every team who are regularly in the starting line-up and that’s very nice when you have achieved such a status at the club. And that’s definitely a big step forward. That was the case at Dinamo Zagreb and then I didn’t have it for two years, but now I’m enjoying the situation here.”

As Sosa prepares to get his World Cup campaign underway with Croatia, German outlet Bild have claimed the defender ‘wants to show the football world what he can do’ in a bid to secure a move away from Stuttgart in the near future. Newcastle and Serie A duo Inter and Atalanta are both credited with an interest in the left-back, who is said to be valued at around £15m.

United may face a battle to persuade Stuttgart to part company with their prize asset, with the club’s sporting director Sven Mislintat commenting: "The World Cup is a brutal showcase. But my clear wish is that Borna will stay. He is an absolute quality player. It would be hard enough to replace it in the summer. A transfer in winter would not be good. That would weaken us. It is very important that we maintain the quality in the squad.”

Sosa will get his World Cup underway when Croatia face Morocco on Wednesday morning.

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