Newcastle United have once again been linked with a move for Real Valladolid’s highly-rated defender Ivan Fresneda.
Spanish outlet Marca have revealed Magpies head of recruitment Steve Nickson was in the stands at the Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla on Friday night as Fresneda’s side face reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid in their final game of 2022.
The move comes amid speculation the Magpies are keen to add a young right-back to their squad to provide competition and backup for Kieran Trippier. The likes of Leeds United’s Cody Drameh and West Ham United prospect Harrison Ashby have been mentioned as possible targets - but Nickson’s presence in Spain shows that Fresneda is another player under consideration by the Magpies hierarchy.
According to the report, the young defender put in an impressive display after a difficult start to the game and quickly got to grips with Brazil World Cup winner Vinicius Junior. Fresneda could not prevent Valladolid from falling to a defeat as two late goals from Karim Benzema helped Carlo Ancelotti’s side claim all three points.
But the most intriguing aspect of the report is Nickson being pictured with Fresnel’s agent, Luis Bardaji. Marca have stated the Spain Under-19 international has a release clause of around £26.5m written into his current contract but has suggested the Magpies will offer Valladolid a deal potentially worth around £13m and immediately allow the youngster to remain with the club on loan for the remainder of the 2022/23 season.
United reportedly face major competition for Fresneda with Juventus, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Rennes all mentioned as potential suitors for the full-back. Recent reports have also stated there is interest from Premier League clubs Arsenal, Leeds United and Southampton as the race for the defender hots up.