The highly-rated 23-year-old has caught the eye since arriving in Turkish football just 12 months ago and has been linked with a move to one of Europe’s top leagues as a result.
What is the latest news involving Szalai?
Szalai joined Fenerbahce from Cypriot side Apollon Limassol FC in January 2021 and has gone on to make 51 appearances in all competitions for the Super Lig giants.
As per WhoScored, the 6 foot 4 beast has averaged 2.2 clearances and 1.4 interceptions per league game this season, placing him second for both metrics amongst his teammates.
And the 23-cap Hungary international has reportedly attracted the interest of several potential suitors following a string of outstanding performances.
Sky Sports revealed that both West Ham and the Magpies are keeping close tabs on Szalai ahead of a possible offer, with Serie A giants AC Milan also listed as potential suitors.
The report claims that the commanding centre-back will cost around £16.7 million (€20m), while last month his national team manager Marco Rossi – who previously labelled his key man ‘complete’ – said he believed Szalai was joining Chelsea.
What has Downie said about Szalai?
Newcastle have been poor defensively throughout 2021/22, conceding 43 goals in their 21 top-flight fixtures – the second-worst record in the Premier League.
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As a result, Eddie Howe’s charges have been linked to several defenders in recent weeks, and Downie has claimed Szalai is one player who is on their radar, although he is not at the top of their wish list.
He told GiveMeSport: “So, I think he probably is an option, from what I’ve heard, but I don’t think he is option number one. So, it might be one to keep an eye on later on in the window.”
Who could Newcastle sign in January?
The North East outfit had a big rejected for Lille star Sven Botman in the early stages of the winter window and now appear to be focussing their attention on alternative targets.
Sevilla’s Diego Carlos has emerged as a leading contender to sure things up at the heart of Newcastle’s defence, and Monaco youngster Benoît Badiashile is another player tipped to make the switch to St. James’ Park.
Carlos appears to be the closest to joining Howe’s revolution, though, after the 28-year-old submitted a transfer request on Tuesday despite the Rojiblancos’ involvement in the Spanish title race.