Newcastle United youngster joins Barcelona and Liverpool stars on NXGN list as Magpies ‘target’ £8.8m defender

The latest headlines from Newcastle United ahead of international break

Newcastle United have returned to the Middle East for the second time in three months as the international break gets underway. The squad jetted off to Dubai from East Midlands Airport hours after their 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest at the weekend.

Eddie Howe has confirmed that the players will enjoy a period of rest before resuming training, however there are a number of stars missing from the trip. While the likes of Kieran Trippier and Alexander Isak are on international duty, both Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton have been dismissed from the Dubai camp at their request. Guimaraes is currently in the Maldives with his partner, while Joelinton has returned to Brazil with his fiance. NewcastleWorld have reported that Allan Saint-Maximin is also in Dubai but is not currently staying with the team.

Here are the latest headlines from the Tyneside club...

Garang Kuol in GOAL NXGN

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Newcastle United’s Garang Kuol has been named in the GOAL NXGN 50-strong list among a number of high-profile youngsters. His inclusion comes after a tough start to his loan spell with Hearts, starting only one game since joining in January.

Kuol signed permanently for Newcastle in September before linking up with the squad during the transfer window and is believed to be extremely highly-rated at only 18 years old. Describing the teenager, GOAL wrote: “Tipped to become “one of the best players in the world one day” by a former coach in Australia, Kuol arrived in Newcastle in January having emerged as a potential star of the future in the A-League.

“The forward provided a goal or assist every 57.5 minutes for Central Coast Mariners, leading to the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund showing an interest in him before the Magpies won the race for Kuol’s signature by paying £300,000. The youngest player to be called-up by the Socceroos since Harry Kewell in 1997, the 18-year-old made two appearances at the World Cup before being sent on loan to gain experience in Scotland with Hearts.”

The forward joins a long list of talented players including Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho, Liverpool’s Stefan Bajcetic and Barcelona’s Gavi - all of whom have racked up a total of over 100 senior appearances for their respective clubs. While GOAL have chosen to not rank the players this year, previous winners included Jude Bellingham, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Youri Tielemans.

Magpies ‘keen’ on defender

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Newcastle United are targeting Fenerbahce’s Emir Ortakaya, according to Turkish outlet Aksam. The teenager is currently on loan with Goztepe and has made 26 appearances in all competitions, with the club sat eleventh in the second division of Turkish football.

Ortakaya has previously heavily featured for Fenerbahce’s youth squad and has netted three goals in 28 games, however he is yet to make his senior debut and could be snapped up by a European club before given the chance. The defender is believed to have a big future ahead of him and Newcastle are one club that are eager to bring him to the Premier League, while Southampton are also interested.

Ortakaya is reportedly valued at around €10 million (£8.8m), with the price tag certainly not looking like a problem for the Magpies. Eddie Howe’s side will be eager to bolster their defence despite a solid season for the backline, while the 18-year-old also provides plenty of versatility as he is able to play at both centre-back and left-back.

Given Howe’s success in nurturing young players over the course of his managerial career, a move for Ortakaya to St. James’ Park could be a good one and could prove to be a real bargain if he can make the step up in years to come.

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