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Newcastle owners reportedly shortlist four centre-backs - which is most likely?

The rumours are already flying after Newcastle’s new owners took control towards the end of last week. A centre-back seems to be a priority.

In the past 24 hours, Newcastle have been linked with ambitious moves for four big-name European defenders – from Juve, Barca, Napoli and Leicester.

They are Kalidou Koulibaly – linked with Newcastle during the previous bid. Wesley Fofana, Clement Lenglet and Matthijs de Ligt are also options.

But which is most likely? Here, The Boot Room considers which of those four players are most likely to don the black and white stripes:

4 (least likely) – Matthijs de Ligt, Juventus

SPORT claim that de Ligt is a contender to join Newcastle. But that Newcastle would have to wait until next summer – with January first.

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But de Ligt is considered one of Europe’s best young centre-backs. There is almost no chance he will leave a side like Juventus, for Newcastle.

3 – Wesley Fofana, Leicester

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RMC Sportvia GFFN – say Newcastle have opened talks with Fofana’s entourage. They also claim that Leicester have been informed of a bid, soon.

But Fofana remains injured – and Leicester will want to keep him. He is also first choice at Leicester, a side in Europe, so why would he want to go?

2 – Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli

Area Napoli say Newcastle are keen on Koulibaly, but that he would rather play for a side in Europe. But at 30, he might feel his time is running out.

Koulibaly has been linked with the Premier League lots, but it has died down. If Newcastle come calling, he might feel it his last chance. Potential.

1 – Clement Lenglet, Barcelona

SPORT say Newcastle are keen – and this one has legs. Barcelona need to sell players to ease their financial woes, especially fringe players on big money.

Lenglet, 26, is likely to be just that. Just one start in 2021-22 is likely to convince Lenglet to move. Newcastle have a chance with the Frenchman.

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