Newcastle United are reportedly interested in Schalke defender Ozan Kabak and can make a late summer swoop for the Turkish International.

According to the transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Newcastle United are one of the clubs monitoring the situation with Turkish defender Ozan Kabak and are interested in bringing the 21-year-old before the window ends.

Fabrizio Romano claims that the Toon haven’t submitted a formal bid yet. However, Serie A outfit Torino have offered €1.5 million in loan fee to bring the defender on a temporary basis with purchase option, but Schalke have rejected the proposal as they want a permanent solution for Kabak.

It’s an open secret that Newcastle boss Steve Bruce wants to bolster the defensive options available at his disposal. The current roster has the experience in lots but lacks energy, pace and vigour, this has prompted Magpies to add a young, hungry and ball-playing central defender to their ranks, and Kabak certainly fits the profile perfectly.

This is not the first time Magpies have been linked to the Turk. Earlier in January, they had a six-month loan deal agreed in principle with Schalke only for Liverpool to hijack the deal at the last moment to sort out their defensive calamity. He spent the second half of the last campaign at Anfield, where he made 13 outings in which he did put up some fine defensive displays, but the Reds opted not to make his transfer permanent.

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Kabak is a decent defender, and familiarity with the Premier League could be vital for Newcastle. During his loan stint at Liverpool, he averaged 2.1 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and three clearances per game which ranks him first if compared among Newcastle’s current defenders.

He’s powerful, agile, and has a decent recovery speed. His positional sense, game intelligence, and last-ditch challenges are among his few attributes that have made him a great prospect. Standing tall at 6ft 1, he uses his height to great effect as he’s aerially dominant and a menace on both ends of the field, having netted four of his six Bundesliga goals using his head.

It’s glaring that Newcastle’s backline needs strengthening, especially after their horrific defensive displays in their opening league fixtures in which they leaked six goals in just two games. It’s their Achilles Heel that needs rectifying as soon as possible. Otherwise, it would be a long-hard gruelling season for the Toon.

The Magpies have already signed Joe Willock from Arsenal in a deal worth £25 million; this has left their finances in a dire state, so much so that they are only in the market for loan moves. So, it’s highly improbable that Magpies will go ahead with a bid for Kabak. It is more likely that they explore the loan option instead.

But if they are to bring the Turk defender to St James’ Park, they need to fasten up a little as Leicester are waiting in the wings to launch a move as well. What remains to be seen is whether Magpies will step up their interest in Kabak or move to other cheaper alternatives.

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