Newcastle United handed fresh transfer blow as Premier League rivals ‘approach’ £61m-rated target

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Newcastle United may have fresh competition in their reported bid to land a centre-back.

Newcastle United may have fresh competition in their reported bid to land a defensive target.

The Magpies are expected to add another centre-back this summer as they prepare for a campaign in the Champions League. Eddie Howe’s men impressed defensively in the season just gone, but if they are going to remain in the top four while also compete in Europe’s most difficult competition, they are going to need some elite additions, even at the back.

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Recent reports have claimed RB Leipzig star Josko Gvardiol is a target having impressed for club and country - with Croatia - over recent years.

Gvardiol is a rare left-side centre-back, making him an attractive target, and it will come as no surprise that Newcastle have competition. According to 90min, Premier League and FA Cup champions Manchester City are interested as they look to remain at the very top.

City are arguably the worst kind of transfer rival, given they might win the treble this weekend, able to offer any incoming players an instant opportunity to win titles. Gvardiola is said to be available for around £61million but next summer will have a release clause of £97million, as that becomes active at the end of next season.

City are expected to offload Aymeric Laporte this summer, and they will then look to sign a new centre-back, likely one who can play on the left side. Meanwhile, Chelsea are also said to be interested in a move for Gvardiol as they seek a long-term replacement for Thiago Silva.

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As for Newcastle, this could be a diffuclt move to pull off, but they may be able to sweeten the deal on the wages front, given they won’t be able to offer an instant shot at titles. It’s claimed Gvardiol will effectively get to decide his destiny this summer, given Leipzig’s willingness to sell and the likelihood more than one club will be at the table.

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