Price tag revealed for Steve Nickson-scouted, Premier League-ready defender in Newcastle United's sights

Newcastle United will have to pay around £21million to land central defensive target Ozan Kabak this summer.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 6:00 am
Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United is challenged by Ozan Kabak of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield on April 24, 2021 in Liverpool, England.

The defender, identified by club head of recruitment Steve Nickson as a January target, is set to leave Schalke this summer, following the club’s relegation from the Bundesliga.

And while the young centre-half impressed in an end of season loan spell at Liverpool, it has been reported that Jurgen Klopp will not take up the option to sign the player on a permanent basis.

The Reds pipped United to the signing in January, with the Newcastle hierarchy believing they had Turkey international Kabak, only for Klopp & Co to steal in at the last moment to seal a loan with an £18million option at the end of the campaign.

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However, reports in Germany now suggest United, should they follow up their interest, would have to fork out an increased fee to the one they similarly brokered in the winter window.

The Magpies are in the hunt for a defender this summer with interest in Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer remaining. Leicester City are thought to be monitoring both Kabak, according to reports in Germany, as well as Ajer, as per sources in Scotland.

Newcastle are likely to sell Florian Lejeune this summer to fund their defensive refresh, while the futures of Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar are yet to be 100% cleared up officially. Both are expected to pen extensions, a one-year clause activation in the case of Schar, but the club are yet to announce their retained list for the summer.