Newcastle United are well known to be targeting centre-backs as a priority, and one of their rumoured targets has had their valuation reduced.
German Bundesliga side SC Freiburg are conscious of losing centre-back Nico Schlotterbeck on a free transfer next in 2023 due to his contract expiring at this time, so the club have decided to lower their asking price for him, which could prompt more interest in a sale.
Schlotterbeck, a 22-year-old German who has yet to be capped by the senior team is one of Europe’s 10 most in-form footballers, according to stats website WhoScored.
? Aurelien Tchouameni is now the most in-form player in Europe's top 5 leagues. He is 22 pic.twitter.com/YUs1GQVu79
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 8, 2022
And is it despite this that Sport1 are reporting his apparent availability is now worth £16m, or €20m.
However, despite Newcastle’s vast new riches following the club’s takeover by a Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund earlier in the season, they will still need to beat Bundesliga title challengers Borussia Dortmund to his signature.
BVB have already confirmed the signing of Bayern Munich centre-back Niklas Sule on a free transfer, but with the club now preparing for Manuel Akanji to depart in the summer, a new centre-back being brought in is another point of priority.
Thus enter Schlotterbeck, who has made 40 appearances for his current club overall, including 19 Bundesliga appearances this season, helping them climb into the top five.
Newcastle spent roughly £85m on new signings in the January window, which included the recruitment of Brighton central defender Dan Burn.
While the club got their post-January window season off to the perfect start with a 3-1 win over Frank Lampard’s Everton, whether the recruitment will be enough to get them out of the relegation zone by the conclusion of matchday 38 remains to be seen.
The result’s will have significant implications on Newcastle’s long-term and short-term plans, while also likely having a wider impact in the rest of European footballs transfer market.