Craig Hope, North East reporter for The Daily Mail, says that Real Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda is ‘being watched’ by Newcastle United.
The Lowdown: Newcastle interest
The Mail reported on New Year’s Eve that the St. James’ Park outfit have joined the race to sign Fresneda, with both Arsenal and Juventus also monitoring the teenager.
He could be available for around £10m, and the North East club have officially ‘expressed their interest’ in his signature.
The Latest: ‘Being watched’
Taking to Twitter, Hope has shared that Fresneda is ‘being watched’ by the Tynesiders ahead of a potential move, and he is among a number of other right-backs being ‘tracked’:
“Valladolid right back Ivan Fresneda is being watched by NUFC. Sources confirm interest & say 18-yr-old is among others being tracked. A young right-back is certainly high on list for Jan.”
Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth has since added that Eddie Howe’s team have scouted Fresneda ‘several times’, including when he played against Real Madrid on Friday.
The Verdict: Get it done
Despite Valladolid’s 2-0 loss at home to Madrid, the Magpies would have liked what they saw from Fresneda.
The Spaniard won ten duels, by far the most of any player on the pitch, while he also made a joint-high three clearances and an unmatched eight tackles, chipping in with four accurate long balls, one key pass and two interceptions (SofaScore).
Hailed as having the ‘beastly‘ ability to maraud forward and put in crosses from right-back by journalist and La Liga presenter Juan Arroita, only three of his team-mates average more crosses per game than him in La Liga so far this season, while his 1.4 key passes per match is unmatched (WhoScored).
Nonetheless, Fresneda would be the perfect understudy to Kieran Trippier, who has played in every game so far this term and is in need of the occasional rest.