The Europa League tie between Galatasaray and Barcelona gave Newcastle United the chance to scout centre-back target Victor Nelsson, according to reports in Turkey.
Galatasaray hosted Barcelona in the second leg of their Round of 16 clash on Thursday. After a goalless first leg, the Turkish side were eliminated after a 2-1 defeat on their home turf, despite initially having taken the lead.
Going up against a club of Barcelona’s stature was always going to be tough. But they gave a decent account of themselves and it may have put some of their players in transfer focus.
According to Turkish outlet Fanatik, there were several representatives of European clubs at the second leg between Galatasaray and Barcelona. Among the players being observed was Victor Nelsson.
The report claims Newcastle’s representatives were keeping a close eye on the 23-year-old, who is in his first season with Galatasaray. They signed him from Copenhagen in his native Denmark in August.
Since then, he has already amassed 40 appearances in all competitions for the club. They could turn a quick profit by cashing in on him after his busy debut season.
Per Fanatik, Newcastle scouts went to witness his performance against Barcelona on Thursday. His fellow defender Marcao may also have been of interest. For Nelsson, they were joined by representatives of AC Milan and Napoli.
Newcastle face competition for Victor Nelsson
Competing with the two Italian clubs, who could have Champions League football on offer, would ordinarily be tough. But after Newcastle’s Saudi-led takeover last year, they have the funds to be in contention.
Defence is an area they will still be looking to strengthen in the summer. They signed Dan Burn from Brighton in January, but there was a feeling they wanted an additional centre-back too.
They could now look into a deal for Victor Nelsson in that regard. It would be his first experience of English football. But if he adapts as quickly as he has to the Turkish league, it could be a shrewd bit of business.
It has been reported that Nelsson has a €25m release clause in his contract. If Galatasaray do not want to negotiate, that would mean Newcastle would have to fork out just under £21m to prise him away.
They would then have to enter contract negotiations with the former Nordsjaelland youth product. For now, there is no indication that there is anything that advanced.
Another centre-back on Magpies radar
Earlier this week, Newcastle were also linked with another defender. Jason Denayer is the player in question.
A former teammate of January signing Bruno Guimaraes at Lyon, Denayer will become a free agent in the summer.
His form since his Manchester City days has improved significantly, so getting him without a transfer fee would be smart business.
According to Het Nieuwsblad, Newcastle have taken information about Denayer ahead of a possible summer signing. He would be a pacy partner for Burn at the back.
Denayer previously played for Newcastle’s north-east rivals Sunderland during a loan spell from Man City. He also previously represented Galatasaray.
The 26-year-old should be preparing to find a new club, though – and that could lead him back to England.