Thu 22 Feb 2024, 10:08 · Ash Harrison

Newcastle could now move for Bayer Leverkusen's £34m World Cup-winning midfielder this summer

Newcastle could now move for Bayer Leverkusen's £34m World Cup-winning midfielder this summer
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Newcastle United are clearly on the hunt for a defensive-minded midfielder and believe they may have found one in the form of Exequiel Palacios.

According to German outlet, Bild (via Sport Witness), Newcastle remain interested in Bayer Leverkusen's £34million-rated, versatile midfielder who was part of the Argentinian World Cup-winning side. The Magpies were looking at Palacios last year but opted to bide their time.

Newcastle would also face competition from Aston Villa for the 25-year-old's signature, but the biggest hurdle will likely be getting the German side to part with one of their star players.

Leverkusen will be in a strong negotiating position

Leverkusen sit on top of the Bundesliga this season and are yet to taste defeat in the league. If that continues then prising players away from that team this summer is going to be tricky.

Palacios has managed three goals and two assists in 17 Bundesliga appearances so far this season, however, an injury has kept him out of the last four games, while a suspension for yellow card accumulation has forced him to miss another this season.

With Joelinton's future still up in the air, Newcastle face the potential of having to sell the Brazilian this summer which would leave a gaping hole in the midfield that Palacios would be perfect to fill.

Newcastle would probably have to sell to make room for Palacios

That being said, should Newcastle and Joelinton manage to come to an agreement before the summer, we don't feel a move for Palacios would make much sense given how crowded our midfield is.

Bruno Guimaraes, Sandro Tonali and Joelinton would likely be the three who start the majority of games, backed up by Joe Willock, Lewis Miley and Sean Longstaff. Unless Palacios can play as an out-and-out defensive midfielder, there's not really much room for him in the squad in its current state.

Newcastle could be looking to move some players on in the summer to make room, but who? One thing's for certain, the summer transfer window is going to be far more interesting than January's.