By Will Butcher
England Under-21 international Matty Targett is next on the target list of Newcastle, according to a report.
Manager Rafael Benitez is keen on shoring up the Magpies’ defence and has signed Atletico Madrid defender Jesus Gamez, with versatile Arsenal defender Isaac Hayden also set to finalise a move to the club.
The Sun reported (10th July, page 64) that Targett is next on Benitez’s list, which could spell the end on Tyneside for Massadio Haidara, the current back-up to Paul Dummett.
The 20-year-old made 13 Premier League appearances for the Saints last year, playing back-up to Champions League winner Ryan Bertrand and could be allowed to leave to gain first-team experience.
New manager Claude Puel must decide whether he is willing to allow Targett to leave permanently, or only on a temporary basis.
The former Lyon manager is under no pressure to cash in on Targett, who still has three years remaining on his contract.
According to The Sun, Targett would command a fee of around £5million, which is well within the Magpies’ spending power. Benitez has already brought in Matt Ritchie for £12million and Dwight Gayle for £10million.
Targett, who represented Scotland’s under-19 side before opting to represent England’s youth sides, was part of the team that won the 2016 Toulon Tournament this summer.
In other Newcastle news, Benitez has given this highly-rated Finnish goalkeeper a trial.