Newcastle storm ahead of Liverpool, Tottenham for South American star as Klopp baulks at seismic transfer fee

Bayer Leverkusen's Piero Hincapie looks on during a press conference

Newcaste United are reportedly very much at the front of the queue to sign an in-demand defender this summer – with fellow suitors Tottenham and Liverpool seemingly backing away from a deal.

Eddie Howe’s side are upwardly mobile and enjoying their best season for years. Indeed, they can win a first domestic trophy on Sunday when they tackle Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final. And success in the competiton would represent a first major trophy since the 1955 FA Cup – just under 68 years ago.

Victory in the competition would see United qualify for next season’s Europa Conference League too. And that would also offer the Tynesiders a first foray into European competition since 2013 when they were involved in the Europa League.

However, the club has loftier ambitions than both those competitions. And a strong end to the season could see the Magpies secure a place in the Champions League.

As it stands, Newcastle currently sit fifth, a point behind Tottenham, but crucially with a game in hand.

Whatever competition they qualify for, Howe is seemingly making plans to further strengthen his squad ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

And despite boasting one of the meanest defences in the Premier League this season, the Newcastle boss has his eyes on major upgrade in the form of Piero Hincapie.

The Bayer Leverkusen defender is regarded as one of the best centre-halves in the Bundesliga. The 21-year-old is only in his second season with Bayer, but is already making a sizeable impression.

Indeed, his form has seen him linked with a string of big-name clubs.

To that end, the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham are reportedly hot on his trail.

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Newcastle ready to beat rivals to Hincapie signing

There is also interest in the Ecuadorian star from Inter Milan, who see him as a potential successor to Milan Skriniar.

However, the strongest interest of all seemingly comes from Newcastle.

And now reports that Howe’s side are the most likely team to sign Hincapie this summer.

They report that Howe’s coaching staff and scouting network have been tracking his progress for over a year now.

And while his value has shot up from around £26.4m (€30m) to nearer £44m (€50m) in that time – and off the back of a new deal to 2027 – Newcastle are seemingly ready to push through and make a firm approach this summer.

Indeed, their report claims that Hincapie is ‘destined for the Premier League’. And it appears that a move to St James’ Park looks the most likely outcome.

Hincapie fee too high for Liverpool, Tottenham

To that end, they also state the increased £44m asking price appears to have dissuaded Jurgen Klopp from making a move. And even though Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso would prefer to sell to his former side, Klopp seemingly thinks their valuation is just too high.

It’s a similar story at Tottenham, who also seemingly see the Ecuadorian’s fee as too costly. And as an alternative, the north London side reportedly prefer to push through a permanent deal for Clement Lenglet.

He has done well during his time on loan at Spurs, though the deal does not contain any option to make the move permanent.

However, Barcelona are reportedly open to allowing the Frenchman to depart this summer. As such, they will reportedly allow him to leave for a fee in the region of £19.35m (€22m).

As a result, the report claims both Premier League sides have withdrawn interest in Hincapie due to his valuation.

And it seems Newcastle now have a free run at his services, with the player seen as a dream partner for Sven Botman in defence.

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