Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle in Prem battle for ex-Man City man with shades of Lingard after incredible MLS rise

Albert Rusnak playing for Slovakia, October 2021

Newcastle have registered transfer interest alongside Southampton in MLS star and Slovakia international Albert Rusnak, according to a report.

The Magpies are looking to bolster their squad in the January transfer window. Their need is urgent, as they look to avoid relegation following their takeover.

Indeed, they only have one win from 15 Premier League games this term, which came last weekend.

As for who they could sign, several targets have already emerged. Manchester United attacker Jesse Lingard is supposedly top of their shortlist and Newcastle have prepared a lucrative offer for him.

According to the Daily Mail, though, Real Salt Lake star Rusnak has also attracted their attention.

The 27-year-old attacking midfielder can also play on either wing and in wide midfield roles, much like Lingard.

The MLS season’s final is on Saturday, with Real Salt Lake reaching the MLS Cup play-off Conference Finals, where they lost 2-0 to Portland Timbers.

And Slovakia international Rusnak, who has 33 caps for his country, played a starring role throughout their campaign. He played every regular league match and only failed to complete 90 minutes twice, playing at least 80 minutes on those occasions.

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Spurs defender Joe Rodon has been linked to Newcastle

He also starred as the team’s captain for 32 of those matches. His regular role allowed him to build up form, too, as he finished the season with 11 goals and seven assists.

As a result, both Newcastle and Southampton have looked at Rusnak as someone with who could bolster their squads.

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His contract with Real Salt Lake expires at the end of December, making a deal an even more tempting proposition.

Rusnak is recognised as one of the MLS’ top performers. While he has interest from a host of clubs in the USA, the Daily Mail adds that he is open to a return to England.

Rusnak rises since Man City days

Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak, August 2021

Indeed, he initially came through the ranks at Manchester City’s academy.

After loan spells at Oldham, Birmingham and Dutch club SC Cambuur, Rusnak moved to the Netherlands permanently in January 2015.

His spell with Groningen lasted two years, before he ventured to the USA and did not look back.

As for Southampton’s interest, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men are only six points above the drop zone and could do with reinforcements in the January transfer window.