Newcastle have taken the next step in their pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen’s Mitchel Bakker by submitting a £14.5million bid, according to a report.
Bakker is a versatile defender who mainly operates at left-back. But he can also play as a left wing-back or central defender if required. The Dutchman, who represents his country’s U21 team, came through Ajax’s famed academy.
He only made two senior appearances for the Amsterdam outfit before joining Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in July 2019.
Bakker spent two seasons in the French capital, making 45 appearances in all competitions, before being sold to Bayer Leverkusen last summer.
The Bundesliga side paid just £6.3m for his services, as per transfermarkt, and could now make a decent profit.
According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle have acted on their interest in Bakker by tabling an offer worth £14.5m.
Eddie Howe’s side initially set their sights on the 21-year-old on Wednesday, and are now back with money ready to spend.
Mitchel Bakker aims to prove himself in the Prem
Leverkusen could sell as they recognise the business sense in letting Bakker move to the Premier League.
The deal is likely to be orchestrated by Mino Raiola, who represents the full-back. He already knows Bakker’s desire to prove himself in the English top flight.
Newcastle are hoping to strike an agreement over the next few days. However, the player is unlikely to join in time for this weekend’s match against Leeds.
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Howe already has three options on the left side of defence – Matt Ritchie, Jamal Lewis and Paul Dummett.
But it seems he wants a top-class player to come in as the Magpies aim to steer themselves away from the relegation zone.
Alternative left-back signing emerges
Bakker is not the only left-back on Newcastle’s radar. 90Min claim they are looking into the possibility of signing Aston Villa’s Matt Targett.
The Englishman has been a reliable performer for Villa in recent years. He did not miss a single league match throughout the whole of 2020-21.
However, his place in the team is now under threat following Lucas Digne’s arrival from Everton.
Newcastle have apparently made an enquiry over Targett’s availability, and he could move on due to Digne’s presence.
HITC suggest Digne will have only been signed to improve squad competition, rather than with the intention of selling Targett.
Nevertheless, relegation to the bench may be a bitter pill to swallow for the 26-year-old.