Newcastle United transfer rumours: Rafa Benitez set to battle Everton for £5million defender

Newcastle United have been linked with a defensive swoop
Newcastle United have been linked with a defensive swoop

Newcastle United have been linked with a move for Olympiakos defender Leonardo Koutris.

Reports from The People suggest that Rafa Benitez is lining-up a move for Koutris, who is expected to be in high demand once the summer transfer window opens.

The 23-year-old has impressed for the Greek giants and has featured heavily in their Europa League campaign this season.

Such form has attracted interest from a number of sides, with the report claiming that a number of Premier League sides have scouted the left-back in recent weeks.

It is believed that Olympiakos rejected a £5million bid from Italian side Genoa for Koutris in January, but could be convinced to sell come the summer.

And reports suggest that Newcastle and Everton are both set to do battle for the full-back in the summer months.

Rafa Benitez may be keen to add a left-sided defender to his ranks in the summer, with Paul Dummett the only recognised left-back set to be contracted for next season.

The Spaniard signed left-back Antonio Barreca on loan during the January transfer window, but his stay is not expected to be made permanent after an underwhelming start to life at St James's Park.