By Will Butcher
Newcastle’s Vurnon Anita is being targeted by PSV Eindhoven as he enters the final months of his contract, according to a report.
The Evening Chronicle claim that the 27-year-old could be on his way out of St. James’ Park when his deal expires in the summer, with the Dutch champions looking to orchestrate a return for Anita to his home country.
It is said that talks between Anita and Newcastle have failed to move past the preliminary stage amid fears the players will not extend his deal on Tyneside.
He could be approached from now until the end of the season by non-English clubs with a view to a free transfer under the Bosman ruling.
However, the three-time Holland international remains a vital part of the Toon’s side as they look to secure an instant return to the Premier League under manager Rafa Benitez.
Able to play at right-back or in holding midfield, Anita has made 23 league and cup appearances for Newcastle this season, helping his side keep 11 clean sheets.
Signing for Newcastle back in the summer of 2012 from PSV’s rivals Ajax, Anita has been ever present for the Magpies and has clocked up 147 league and cup appearances with the Toon.
Despite the reported interest in his services, Newcastle’s number eight could return to the side against Aston Villa on Monday night after returning to first-team training from an ankle injury.
Football Insider verdict:
Manager Benitez should do all he can to tie down the future of Anita rather than losing the consistent and versatile performer in the summer. Newcastle are firm favourites to gain automatic promotion back to the Premier League. Survival next season will be key, then, and keeping players in the north east with top-flight experience is vital to the Toon’s chances of staying with the big boys. Benitez must tie down Anita instead of letting him leave.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Benitez is reportedly expected to reignite interest in this Ecuadorian winger in the summer.