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Newcastle United: Magpies want Attila Szalai in January

Newcastle United: Magpies want Attila Szalai in January -Newcastle United News

Newcastle United reportedly want to sign Fenerbahce central defender Attila Szalai in the January transfer window.

The Lowdown: January signings expected

The St. James’ Park outfit are expected to make more signings in January, as they look to kick on from their excellent start to the season.

They ended the first part of the Premier League campaign in third place, and will feel that they now have a real chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League ahead of some of the traditional ‘big six’ teams.

The Latest: Szalai wanted

As per Turkish news outlet Turkiye Gazetesi, Szalai is ‘wanted’ by the North East club, as well as fellow Premier League rivals West Ham United and Leicester City.

Serie A side Bologna are also interested in a potential January move, although Szalai’s contract is not up until 2025, so Fenerbahce are not under much pressure to sell.

The Verdict: Lascelles replacement?

It was reported earlier this month that the Tynesiders will listen to offers for Jamaal Lascelles in January, meaning that they would have to sign a replacement if he leaves.

Hailed as an ‘exemplary‘ player by former Fenerbahce sporting director Emre Belozoglu, Szalai is nick-named the ‘Hungarian Van Dijk‘, with the Liverpool centre-back widely regarded as one of the best centre-halves of his generation.

The six-foot-four colossus ranks in the 86th percentile for touches, 84th for progressive passes received and 83rd for progressive passes out of centre-backs in Europe in the past year per FBRef, showing that he is also comfortable with the ball at his feet, and is an all-round complete defender.

Nonetheless, Szalai is only 24 years of age as well, so the Hungary international would be an adequate long-term replacement for Lascelles, and sharing the same agent as Joelinton, this could be a deal that could be pushed through for the right price.

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Newcastle fans! Do you know how many Magpies players in total have been called up by their countries for World Cups?

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Article title: Newcastle United: Magpies want Attila Szalai in January

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