Newcastle United are reportedly in the hunt for Freiburg defender Robin Koch.
Record claim the Magpies are in talks with the Bundesliga outfit over the centre-half, who has entered into the final year of his contract.
Koch has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United, but it appears Newcastle might be leading the race judging by the latest reports.
Koch is little known to fans of English football, so here are five facts about the ace ahead of a potential move to the northeast.
Koch made his senior international debut for Germany last October in a friendly match against Argentina and played a full 90 minutes.
He then earned his next cap a month later in a European qualifying match against Belarus.
Koch stands at an intimidating 6ft 3in tall, making him bigger than all of Newcastle’s current central defenders bar Federico Fernandez who is the same same height, and is known for his prowess in the air.
The star won 3.6 aerial duels per 90 in 2019/20 according to WhoScored.
‘Plays like Javi Martinez’
According to an official bundesliga.com feature last year, Koch has a playstyle similar to that of Bayern Munich star Javi Martinez.
They said: “A rangy battering ram happy at home at the heart of the defence or in defensive midfield, Koch shares more than a few traits with Bayern Munich’s Martinez.
“The Freiburg enforcer boasts a tremendous willingness to get stuck in and get his hands dirty, and comes complete the necessary engine to snap at opposition players’ heels.”
Koch is versatile enough to be able to play as a holding midfield player, which could see him become a nice fit for Newcastle.
There is potential he could slot in as a third centre-back out of possession, but step forward to provide support when the Magpies have the ball.
One year left
Koch has just one year remaining on his current contract at Freiburg, meaning there’s a reasonable chance for Newcastle to seal a cut-price deal.
Freiburg value their man at around £27 million, but they will surely do well to get near that figure given his situation.
That said, Benfica are said to be keen on the player which could see a bidding war break out.