Newcastle United in Premier League fight for Rani Khedira
Newcastle United are reportedly in a fight with a number of other clubs in the Premier League to sign Union Berlin midfielder Rani Khedira this summer.
The Lowdown: Midfielder wanted
Newcastle have recently been linked with summer moves for Bristol City’s Alex Scott and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Alexis Mac Allister, suggesting that they would like to sign a new midfielder in the next transfer window.
Both Matty Longstaff and Matt Ritchie are out of contract in the summer, while they allowed Jonjo Shelvey to move to Nottingham Forest in January, so there will be a space in the squad for Eddie Howe to add a midfielder come next season.
The Latest: Newcastle interest
According to German news outlet SportBILD (via Sport Witness), the St. James’ Park outfit are in a Premier League battle to sign Khedira, who is out of contract at Union Berlin in the summer.
This means that he can sign as a free agent, so there is sure to be plenty of interest come the end of the season.
However, if the North East club want to sign him, they will face competition from the likes of Leicester City and Wolves for his signature.
The Verdict: No-brainer
It is a no-brainer for the Tynesiders to sign Khedira on a free transfer, especially considering their need for a midfielder.
The six-foot-two colossus has been a standout performer for a Union Berlin side surprisingly challenging at the top of the Bundesliga, as no other player in this squad has averaged more interceptions per game than he has, while he also ranks highly in terms of average aerial duels won, tackles, blocks and passes per match (WhoScored).
Khedira would also offer the Magpies leadership qualities off the pitch, having captained Union Berlin on a number of occasions already so far this term, and would offer extra stability in a midfield with the likes of Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton already in it.
The Toon Army will be able to catch a glimpse of the 29-year-old in action tonight, as Union Berlin travel to Union Saint Gilloise for the second leg of their year UEFA Europa League last-16 tie, after drawing 3-3 in the first leg.
Nonetheless, Khedira will be looking to make an impact, as the Germans aim to reach the quarter-final stage of the competition, where they could have Premier League clubs Arsenal and Manchester United waiting for them if they get through.