By Russell Edge

19th Jul, 2017 | 5:18pm

Newcastle in pole position to make £9m swoop for 19-cap international defender - report

By Russell Edge

Newcastle are set to make a £9million move for Real Betis defender Riza Durmisi this summer, according to a report.

Italian football news website claim that the Magpies are in “pole position” for the left-back’s signature, with Italian giants Roma also said to be in pursuit of the 23-year-old.

They also state that Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is “strongly determined” to take the Danish international to Tyneside, having made 19 appearances across all competitions since joining Betis last summer.

He arrived from his boyhood club Brondby, having made his way through the youth ranks into the first team squad, making 107 appearances during his time there.

He also has 19-caps for his country, having made his debut in a 2-1 victory over Montenegro back in 2015.

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Newcastle currently have Welsh international Paul Dummett as their number one choice at left-back, with Massadio Haidara and Achraf Lazaar also competing for a place in the starting XI.

Football Insider verdict

Durmisi would be a huge upgrade for Newcastle at left-back, with the Danish international bringing a set of skills that the current options have failed to demonstrate. A player with sound defensive qualities, he would also pose a potent attacking threat down the flank with his pace and dribbling ability, offering a much more attacking option than what is available to the Magpies. However, it appears that Rafael Benitez has a huge amount of trust in Dummett, and usurping the Welshman may prove to be a tough ask for any potential challengers. Still, competition can only bring the best out of either player, and his arrival would be a welcome addition at St James’ Park.

In other Newcastle transfer news, the club are lining up a £16million deal for this international forward.

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