Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic has said that suggestions of transfer interest from Newcastle United represent recognition for his achievements.
Kalajdzic is enjoying an excellent season at the newly-promoted Bundesliga outfit, scoring 14 league goals in 18 starts, a tally eclipsed only by Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Andre Silva and Wout Weghorst in the German top flight.
Indeed, those 14 goals have come from just 47 attempts from the 23-year-old.
Kalajdzic: The Austrian Peter Crouch?
Kalajdzic caught the eye of UK audiences in March when he bagged a double against Scotland at Hampden Park in World Cup qualifying action.
He is the tallest player in the Bundesliga at 6 foot 5 and has been compared to Premier League centurion Peter Crouch, who he cited as an ‘example, definitely’ after he enjoyed a ‘top career’ in England.
SportBild claimed that Newcastle were keen on signing him before he opted to join Stuttgart last summer for a modest fee of £1.58m. The Magpies may retain an interest in Kalajdzic, but RB Leipzig are now said to have joined the race for his signature.
Kalajdzic: ‘It’s a compliment’ to be associated with Newcastle
“Much of what is said about me in the media is a nice confirmation,” he told SportBild when they recalled that he was wanted by the Magpies.
“I am not defending myself against it. It’s great that my achievements are recognized. It’s a compliment to be associated with other clubs – but that’s all, I don’t go crazy about it.”
Kalajdzic is valued at £15.3m by Transfermarkt, an estimate he describes as ‘cool’.
‘I don’t want to commit myself’
When he was asked whether the Premier League would be his next step, given that he is a ‘big England fan’, he expressed caution.
“I don’t like to speculate too much,” he said.
“All plans can be over with one action, and things can go down the drain again: I had a metatarsal fracture and a cruciate ligament tear in my still young career. That’s why I don’t want to commit myself.
“It’s nice that the rumors exist and that people talk a lot about me.”
Transfer Tavern verdict
Kalajdzic’s excellent goalscoring record means that it would be no surprise if he were to depart Stuttgart in the summer after just one year of service.
Newcastle are sure to face competition if they pursue a deal once again, but it would be some coup for the Magpies. He would very much be a long-term option at St James’ Park and would surely represent an upgrade on Joelinton, who has netted just nine goals in 75 appearances for the Geordies.
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