Rafael Benitez wants to bring Swedish international defender Filip Helander to Newcastle United in January, if funds are made available.
Newcastle have had a tough start to the season, with no wins from their opening seven Premier League games, and an early exit in the Carabao Cup after losing to Championship side Nottingham Forest at the second round stage. Having conceded 10 goals in the league so far, Benitez is looking for defensive reinforcements.
According to the Daily Express, he has been impressed by Bologna defender Helander, who was a member of Sweden’s World Cup squad. Now, Benitez must convince owner Mike Ashley – who was present for the 2-0 defeat to Leicester City on Saturday – to release the funds to bring Helander to the club.
Helander, 25, has also played for Malmo and Verona, winning two Swedish league titles.
The signing of Helander could be key to Benitez’s future at Newcastle, with the manager’s contract expiring at the end of the season.