By support

4th Dec, 2017 | 5:19pm

Report claims Newcastle must go all out to sign 'rock-solid' Leeds mainstay in January

Newcastle United must do everything they can to sign centre-back Pontus Jansson from Championship side Leeds United in January, according to a report

Football Whispers, a leading transfer news outlet, identified five players that Rafa Benitez should put to the top of his wish list in January, and Leeds’ talismanic enforcer is one of them.

“Benitez knows that adding more strength to the back-line is always a smart idea, and could do a lot worse than Leeds’ rock-solid Sweden international,” the report says.

The 26-year-old defender has been a standout player for the Elland Road club in the second tier for the past year and scored his first goal of the campaign in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on Friday night.

Leeds are currently eighth in the Championship table, five points outside the play-off places.

Meanwhile, in the Premier League, Newcastle are without a win in their last five matches and are currently five points above the relegation zone in 15th.

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Football Insider verdict:

Newcastle arguably have their strongest group of centre-backs in recent memory, but it may not be a bad idea for manager Rafa Benitez to strengthen his defensive options in January, as the season beings to take its toll on the players. The team cannot afford a defensive injury crisis and Benitez knows that adding more strength and depth to his back-line would be a smart idea. Jansson is an experienced, rock-solid and no-nonsense defender. He is strong in the tackle and good in the air. The 26-year-old is playing his second full season at Championship level and could no doubt make his presence felt against the Premier League’s best attacking talents.

In other Newcastle news, the club are favourites to sign this highly-rated 25-year-old in January, according to a report.

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