Newcastle push ahead with £50m chase for Bundesliga star, with groundwork laid for defensive upgrade

Piero Hincapie battling with Mehdi Taremi

Newcastle United remain interested in Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Piero Hincapie despite his recent contract extension with the Bundesliga side, according to a report.

Hincapie is one of the most promising defenders in the Bundesliga at present. He has coped well with the transition to European football since joining Leverkusen from Talleres in 2021. In turn, some Premier League clubs have been showing an interest in him.

For example, Tottenham have long held an interest in the Ecuador international. But Newcastle have also established themselves as contenders for Hincapie’s signature.

According to Football Insider, Newcastle held talks with his representatives in January. However, no transfer materialised that month and he went on to extend his contract until 2027 the following month.

Now, though, the website is claiming that Newcastle have not been put off and are still showing an interest, even though Hincapie might now cost more than £50million.

Aware of his ability to play as a centre-back or a left-back, Newcastle know that Hincapie could be a good investment for the future.

They are also aiming to sign a left-back, but are in the market for a more attacking option. In that regard, they are also being linked with Fulham’s Antonee Robinson. Still, Hincapie would be helpful as cover.

Mainly, though, his role would be a central one if he was to join Newcastle. In theory, he could be used as the main partner for Sven Botman, who joined Newcastle from Lille in June.

The report suggests Hincapie would be an upgrade on Fabian Schar, who has nevertheless enjoyed a positive season, playing his part in Newcastle having the best defensive record in the Premier League.

Newcastle could make defence even more formidable

As Newcastle strive for European qualification, they will be looking to keep making marginal improvements to their squad. And it seems finding a centre-back to match Botman’s level in the long term could be one of their next ideas.

Hincapie won’t be their only option, since a club of their stature will have several targets in mind. But because of his pedigree and potential, he could be one of the main ones to keep an eye on.

Of course, Newcastle will have to act decisively if they want to win the race for the 21-year-old. There is likely to be other interest in his services, while Bayer Leverkusen aren’t going to make a summer transfer easy after their recent agreement with Hincapie.

At the time of his contract extension, the defender said how he thinks he is at “exactly the right club”, which indicates he could be willing to enter a third season at their disposal.

But there are many years ahead in which Hincapie can make a move. Besides, clubs with as much financial power as Newcastle can force others to think about changing their own plans.

Moreover, Leverkusen have ground to make up in the Bundesliga if they are to reach European competition for next season. On the other hand, Newcastle have a good chance of finishing in the Premier League’s top seven.

Therefore, they might be a better place to be for ambitious players next season. Whether Hincapie will be one of them is something that is likely to be speculated more about in the coming months.

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