Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle vulnerable with key Howe man advised to join Champions League contender

Fabian Schar, Allan Saint-Maximin, Newcastle celebrate after goal v Watford at St James' Park

Newcastle may require a mass spend in one particular area after Fabian Schar was advised to join a Champions League contender.

Switzerland centre-half Schar, 30, has been a near-ever present since Eddie Howe took charge. Schar had been relegated to the bench for eight consecutive matches under former boss Steve Bruce earlier in the season.

But under Howe, Schar has returned to the fore and has helped new signing Dan Burn to settle in quickly in the heart of defence.

However, Schar is out of contract in the summer, and talk of a free agent exit has begun to swirl.

Indeed, the Daily Mail recently claimed interest from England as well as Italy has emerged. Schar is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs after entering the final six months of his contract.

The Mail put AC Milan and Napoli in the frame. But clubs look odds-on to be in the Champions League next season with hefty gaps to fifth-placed Atalanta already under their belts.

Schar to Napoli given seal of approval

Now, speaking to Area Napoli (via Sport Witness), Italian journalist Paolo Esposito has talked up a Napoli move.

“Schar is an experienced 30-year-old defender, with many appearances in the national team (Switzerland), owned by Newcastle,” said Esposito.

“Without spending anything on his name tag, with a low salary to pay him, I would take him.

Fabian Schar, Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle

“He is a versatile defender who can play on the right and in the centre of defence. Excellent in the aerial game and not slow, despite his height of around 6ft 4in tall.

“He has personality, a good long throw. Yes, under the above conditions, I would take him to Napoli.”

Zaidu Sanusi from Porto a target for Newcastle United this summer

Newcastle United are looking at Zaidu Sanusi from Porto this summer

At present, there is little indication Schar will pen fresh terms at St. James’ Park.

Centre-half was an area Newcastle targeted heavily last month, though their pursuits of Diego Carlos from Sevilla and Sven Botman from Lille both fell short. Dan Burn did arrive, though he was not the glamour name the club’s owners were striving to sign.

As such, the Daily Express hinted those avenues could be revisited in the summer. And if Schar departs, Newcastle may be forced into more than one addition in the position.

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Newcastle battling Chelsea for PSG signing

Meanwhile, Chelsea have been joined by two other Premier League clubs including Newcastle in the battle to sign Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe, according to reports from France.

Chelsea’s top target, since before this season started, has been Jules Kounde of Sevilla. That remains the case, according to reports cited by Get French Football News. However, the same sources are indicating that another name on their wishlist is that of 26-year-old Kimpembe.

The Frenchman featured heavily under Thomas Tuchel during his time in Paris. A reunion at Stamford Bridge is an idea has been lingering as a possibility for a while. It seems it is a concrete suggestion if the pursuit of Jules Kounde does not bear fruit – or perhaps in addition.

But Chelsea may have to hurry up if they really want to sign Kimpembe. It is claimed that Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are also interested in the left footer.

The Magpies splashed out around £90m in their first transfer window since the takeover. Their five signings were not all glamorous, but realistic given their relegation battle.

If they can secure Premier League safety – which is looking more promising – Newcastle could show further ambition in the summer. Given they strongly pursued centre-halves Diego Carlos and Sven Botman – and only would up with Dan Burn – it’s expected they will add at the heart of defence once again in the summer.

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