Newcastle United are reportedly interested in signing Hoffenheim star Florian Grillitsch in the upcoming January transfer market.

According to The Sun, Newcastle United are keen to sign their long-term transfer target Florian Grillitsch in the upcoming transfer window as they look to bolster their squad with quality reinforcements to boost their Premier League survival bid.

The 26-year-old’s current contract with Hoffenheim expires next summer, which means he could be available for a free transfer at the end of the season, but Newcastle want to sign him sooner rather than later. Newcastle face stiff competition from Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma to secure Grillitsch’s signature, with the Austrian star available for as little as £4 million.

Newcastle can now afford to sign pretty much whosoever they want following their Saudi-backed takeover. However, it will be incredibly hard to persuade some of their more ambitious targets to join, given their current predicament. Moreover, reports suggest that rival Premier League clubs are hesitant to do business with Newcastle, which means the Magpies will have to take a more rigorous approach and delve deep into the market.

They will need to find players willing to help them avoid the drop now that they are firmly in a relegation scrap. The Toon are monitoring Grillitsch for months and believe they have a realistic chance of landing the talented Austrian on a bargain fee. At the age of 26, the Austrian international has gained valuable experience at the top-level across his spells with German outfits Werder Bremen and TSG Hoffenheim.

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Primarily a holding midfielder, he can operate in a variety of midfield and defensive roles. Grillitsch has made 143 appearances for Die Kraichgauer, bagging eight goals and 11 assists in the process. He has been one of the consistent performers at Rhein Necker Arena over the years, but having never played club football outside Germany, he will fancy a venture to the Premier League or Serie A.

Grillitsch is a deep-lying playmaker who is composed and technical on the ball but relishes the gritty side, averaging 2.7 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game this term. He boasts an excellent variety of passes in his locker and does not fear playing incisive long balls, shown by his 7.5 long balls attempted per game. Having been coached by Julian Nagelsmann, he is tactically astute and possesses a good positioning sense.

Eager to solidify their defensive unit by improving their midfield, Newcastle would be making a shrewd move if they sign Grillitsch. Magpies’ boss Eddie Howe is known for his possession-based attacking brand of football and likes ball-playing players at every position.

A midfield pairing of Jonjo Shelvey and Grillitsch would have enough technical proficiency to set the tempo and offer solid foundations for the attacking players up front. Additionally, his versatility means he could cover for the centre-back positions.

Newcastle have been touted with a big-money move for highly-rated RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara. Grillitsch provides them with a cheaper alternative. What now remains to be seen is whether they are indeed successful in capturing the 26-year-old from Hoffenheim in January or turn to other avenues to strengthen their midfield roster.

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