Newcastle chase for standout Serie A star nearing dramatic conclusion as agent intervenes in talks

Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij Inter Milan

Newcastle United have found out whether they will be able to complete an impressive signing at the expense of Paris Saint-Germain after a report revealed the transfer race to be closed.

A few years ago, Newcastle battling clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Liverpool for the captures of top-class players would have been unthinkable. But thanks to their rich Saudi Arabian owners, that is exactly what they are capable of doing now.

The Magpies are vying with Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool for Declan Rice. The England midfielder is highly likely to leave West Ham in the summer transfer window, as this is when he will enter the final 12 months of his contract there.

Valuations of Rice vary from £70million all the way up to £120m. Newcastle will certainly not want to pay over £100m for him, even though they have the money to do exactly that.

Newcastle are also battling PSG for the signature of Slovakian defender Milan Skriniar. He has proven himself to be one of Inter Milan’s best players in the last few seasons, though they are at serious risk of losing him for free.

Skriniar’s current contract expires at the end of the season, meaning his future is even more uncertain than Rice’s. Inter cannot afford to meet his wage demands, which explains why PSG and Newcastle have taken an interest in him.

The 27-year-old will want to join a Champions League club when leaving Inter. PSG will be able to offer him this as they are in a good position to triumph in Ligue 1.

But Newcastle could pull off a shock and also qualify for Europe’s elite club competition ahead of next season. They sit in fourth place at the time of writing, two points ahead of Tottenham in fifth and with a game in hand on Antonio Conte’s side.

Newcastle discover possibility of Inter Milan swoop

Italian source Inter Live have now issued a big update on Skriniar’s future. It seems the centre-half has decided on his next club after discussions with both PSG and Newcastle.

As part of those talks, Newcastle sent Skriniar an ‘important contract’ to try and usurp PSG. However, Skriniar has instead opted to join the French club.

And since having an agreement in place with PSG, his agent has intervened by stopping all contact with Newcastle.

It looks like Newcastle will have to admit defeat in the transfer pursuit. Skriniar would have been a brilliant signing for Eddie Howe, as he is one of the top defenders in Serie A who also boasts Champions League pedigree.

He could have formed a solid defensive partnership with Dutchman Sven Botman. However, Newcastle simply could not top the lure of PSG. They remain one of the most attractive destinations in Europe, partly down to the players already on their books.

Not many stars would turn down the opportunity to play in the same team as Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

The decision will come as a blow to Newcastle. But centre-back is not a position Howe desperately needs to improve.

Botman is developing nicely, while Fabian Schar has looked like a new player since Howe became manager. Those two have helped Nick Pope keep 16 clean sheets in 26 games across all competitions this season.

Howe could probably do with landing a younger centre-back in the next couple of years. Schar is 31, while Dan Burn is 30 and Jamaal Lascelles is 29. But for now, Newcastle’s forwards and midfielders can have full trust in their strong defence.

Meanwhile, five players could depart Newcastle as club chiefs look towards a summer move for an England ace.