Newcastle United & West Ham keep tabs on £35m Bundesliga defender ahead of January transfer window

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Newcastle United are keen to strengthen their defensive resources, according to reports

Newcastle United’s continued pursuit for improvement was shown during the summer transfer window as Eddie Howe signed the likes of Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes, Tino Livramento and Lewis Hall in a bid to enhance a squad which had already achieved Champions League football in the previous season.

Howe has claimed in the buildup to Newcastle’s Carabao Cup clash with Manchester City that he is aiming to build a squad with tremendous depth as he bids to challenge on all fronts this season.

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One notable area where Newcastle failed to strengthen in the summer is central defence and the Magpies are still reliant on the successful partnership of Fabian Schar and Sven Botman, along with backup option Jamaal Lascelles and starting left back Dan Burn who has previously played in the middle.

Newcastle’s failure to strengthen the defence came to the surprise of Ex-Magpie shotstopper Shay Given who hinted that it was an area which he would have targeted.

However, it appears increasingly likely that Newcastle will move to enhance that backline in the summer, particularly after a poor defensive display earlier in the season against Brighton when Sven Botman was absent from the first team.

One potential target for the North East club during the winter window is Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie, according to GiveMeSport.

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The 21-year-old is an established Ecuador international who participated in all three of his team’s group games in the Qatar World Cup.

Hincapie kicked off his club career in Ecuador in 2019 but quickly caught the attention of Bayer Leverkusen who snapped up the defender in the summer of 2021.

Since arriving at the BayArena, Hincapie has been a regular fixture in the team and he has impressed under Gerardo Seoane and his successor Xabi Alonso.

The defender is renowned for his excellent pace and his ability to cut out danger and he is described as the “Ecuadorian Wall” by fans of Bayer Leverkusen.

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Newcastle are reportedly keeping tabs on the defender as they look to add further squad depth to their backline and reporter Ben Jacobs claims the deal is one to watch out for although it may not be while next summer.

He said: “I would keep an eye probably next summer on Hincapie. They didn’t seriously entertain anything over the summer and I believe he’s contracted at Bayer Leverkusen until 2027 I believe, so there wasn’t necessarily a realistic chance of them selling last summer.

“But that’s a player that would love to play in the Premier League and if anyone puts down £35m, he is gong to push for that move to England for sure.”

However, Newcastle may not be on their own in their pursuit of Hincapie and West Ham are reportedly one of other clubs chasing the star.

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