PSV Eindhoven’s Jetro Willems is keen to join Georginio Wijnaldum in the Premier League – and he has made a flying visit to St James’s Park.
But the defender, sidelined with a knee injury, is unlikely to sign for Newcastle United this summer.
Willems was on Tyneside at the weekend, though he was not at the club for talks with the club’s hierarchy.
Instead, the 21-year-old was at st James’s Park as a guest of close friend Wijnaldum, signed from PSV last month, make a goalscoring debut for Newcastle in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Southampton. Left-back Willems posted a photograph of himself on a flight to Newcastle on Instagram.
Cryptically, the caption to the post read: “Fly to the future.”
However, the Holland international is NOT understood to be among United’s primary summer transfer targets. United still have work to do in the transfer market. The club is looking to sign another striker, and Queens Park Rangers’ Charlie Austin remains its No 1 target.
But Newcastle have not yet bid for the 26-year-old, believing relegated QPR’s £15million valuation is unrealistic for a player with a year left on his Loftus Road contract.
That view is shared by the other teams interested in Austin, who scored 18 Premier League goals last season.
Austin is keen to return to the Premier League, and QPR could yet lower their asking price, though any move could happen late in the summer transfer window.
United are also looking to sign a winger – Olympique Marseille’s Florian Thauvin is one target – while McClaren has admitted that the club is also on the “lookout” for defensive recruits.
Willems – who was in PSV’s title-winning team along with Wijnaldum last season, but – is looking for a new challenge.
Newcastle, however, appear to have other targets in mind.
McClaren already has two left-backs – Massadio Haidara and Paul Dummett – available to him, though the latter can also play in central defence.