Three reasons Newcastle must win the race to sign Celtic defender

According to reports in the Daily Mail, Newcastle United are among a host of clubs keeping a close eye on £9m-rated Celtic centre-back Jozo Simunovic with a view to making a summer move.

Following a string of fine performances at the heart of the defence – including in the Brendan Rodgers’ side’s brilliant 5-1 win against arch-rivals Rangers in the Old Firm derby at Ibrox on Saturday – the 22-year-old has attracted interest from sides all across Europe.

The Magpies are said to have been joined in the race to sign the Croatian by West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace, Torino, RB Leipzig, Sevilla and Espanyol for the highly-rated defender.

Toon manager Rafa Benitez is keen to strengthen his squad following their immediate return to the Premier League in order to avoid being in another relegation scrap next season, and the Bhoys star looks to be a potential target.

Here are three reasons Newcastle must win the race to sign Simunovic…