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Report: Newcastle shortlist international defender, Benitez aims to beat Solskjaer to deal

By Dominic Toner

Newcastle have shortlisted Norwegian centre-back Vegard Forren to strengthen their defence, according to a report.

Chronicle Live report the Magpies’ interest in a player who is also being targeted by Molde manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It is said Norway international Forren is considered to be a serious target after the link was first made by Newcastle’s Norwegian fan branch.

Manchester United legend and former Cardiff boss Solskjaer has admitted he wants to sign the 28-year-old.

“I can not say much more than what is written in the media, but I realise the fact that clubs are interested in Vegard,” Solskjaer said, as quoted by the Chronicle.

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“We are also interested in Vegard and I hope that we can agree a deal with him before other clubs.”

The defender has just six months left on his contract so a move is possible and Solskjaer may feel he has the edge, having previously coached the player under his tenure at Molde.

Forren has racked up over 200 appearances for the club he has been with since 2007, despite a brief spell at Southampton in 2013 where he failed to make a senior appearance.

The player has also been capped over 30 times by his national side and scored one goal for them.

Following Newcastle’s relegation to the Championship they have already begun preparations for the next season, with goalkeeper Matz Sels, forward Dwight Gayle and midfielder Matt Ritchie already signed for boss Rafa Benitez.

In other Newcastle news, new signing Dwight Gayle has revealed what shocked him about his new club.