Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie claims that Newcastle United have turned down the chance to launch a bid for Freiburg central defender Nico Schlotterbeck.
The Magpies have been linked with a number of defenders since the opening of the January transfer window, with Lille’s Sven Botman and Sevilla’s Diego Carlos both said to be targets, but it seems that the club have opted against a swoop for Schlotterbeck, even though he may be seen as a Botman alternative.
What’s the latest with Newcastle?
The Magpies were roundly humiliated at the weekend as they were eliminated from the FA Cup at the third round stage.
Cambridge United beat Eddie Howe’s side 1-0 at St James’ Park in a genuine giant-killing that will have sharpened the focus at the club when it comes to new additions.
Newcastle are reported to have tabled a bid for Botman while a move for Carlos is also being pursued after the new investment at the club.
The 22-year-old is a former Germany U21 international and has been with Freiburg since 2017, although he spent last season on loan at Union Berlin.
Schlotterbeck has been central to their excellent form, as they sit fourth in the table, and have recorded some eye-catching results too, beating Borussia Dortmund in their second game of the season, while running Bayern Munich close in a narrow 2-1 defeat.
So good has Schlotterbeck been, reports in Spain have linked Real Madrid and Bayern with a potential swoop for the defender, who is valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, but it seems that Newcastle are uninterested in bringing him in.
What did Jones say?
Speaking to GiveMeSport, the transfer insider said: “My information there is Newcastle were offered him by an agent but they’ve said no.”
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Why did Newcastle turn him down?
It may be that they simply don’t think they can get a deal done for him.
If Real and Bayern are legitimately interested, it may well be a waste of time and resources to negotiate a potential move for Schlotterbeck with Freiburg.
He is an up-and-coming defender who appears to be on the verge of a Germany call-up, particularly if he continues his excellent form, and Newcastle may well be showing some self-awareness here.
They are currently embroiled in a serious relegation battle and there is no guarantee that they will survive.
Schlotterbeck, naturally, isn’t likely to want to swap a Champions League push in the Bundesliga for a Premier League bottom of the table scrap.
If Newcastle do stay up, perhaps this is one they can revisit in the summer, but they’ve made the right decision here, to focus on targets who are actually attainable.