Newcastle transfer news: Benitez faces competition for teenager

By support

22nd Nov, 2016 | 12:25pm

Newcastle in battle to sign Serbian defender - reports

By Emma Sanders

Newcastle are interested in Partizan Belgrade teenage sensation Nikola Milenkovic but face stiff competition from Juventus, according to a report.

Italian transfer site Calcio Mercato claims the Italian giants have been in talks with the youngster after sending scouts to watch him in recent weeks.

They are preparing to make a “tangible offer” and may put pressure on Newcastle, who, according to the Irish Mirror, are also interested in the defender.

Milenkovic has impressed for the Serbian side and has attracted a lot of attention in Italy and his native country but Newcastle could look to add to their squad in January.

The centre-back has already appeared for the first team this season during their 4-0 victory against Rad in August and scored a goal but is still waiting for his next opportunity to impress.

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Rafa Benitez’s side currently sit at the top of the Championship table after they recorded a deserved 2-0 victory against Leeds on Sunday.

With the Premier League in their sights, Benitez could opt to bring in some European additions in the January transfer window with the hope of improving his squad for the top flight.

Football Insider verdict:

Milenkovic is relatively unknown in England but has clearly impressed in Europe. He has already made his senior international debut for Serbia after progressing rapidly through the youth ranks at Partizan and Benitez could lure him to Newcastle for a relatively small fee given his lack of top-level experience. His current contract doesn’t run out until 2020 but he is not yet a regular first team member at Partizan and the club could be persuaded by a reasonably cash sum for less than £1 million. With the Premier League seemingly looming for Newcastle following their excellent start to their Championship, the club need to nurture some outstanding European talents and Milenkovic could fit the bill.

In other Newcastle news, Benitez shares what he told Dwight Gayle about his teeth prior to his brace in the victory against Leeds this weekend.