Newcastle United are reportedly believed to be keen on Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez, having enquired about the Mexico international this summer.
As per The Athletic, the 24-year-old is said to be a player that is ‘admired’ by those at St James’ Park, albeit with the Magpies’ enquiry said to have ‘differed greatly’ than the valuation of his current side.
This follows a recent report from Goal’s Kery News who suggested that the northeast side made an offer of around €30m (£25m) for the 55-cap gem, albeit with the Eredivisie giants likely holding out for closer to €50m (£42m) if they are to sanction a departure.
Alfred Schreuder’s side are likely no in rush to sell having already seen the likes of Ryan Gravenberch, Lisandro Martinez and Sebastian Haller leave the Johan Cruyff Arena in the current window, while Brazilian winger Antony is currently the subject of interest from Manchester United.
Although it could well prove a difficult deal to get over the line, landing Alvarez would no doubt be worth it, such has been the 6 foot 2 ace’s form in Holland of late for the Amsterdam outfit.
The £19.8m-rated titan – who was also linked with a move to Old Trafford earlier in the window – has proven himself a rock-solid presence in front of the defence in recent seasons, having signed from Mexican side America back in 2019.
Dubbed a “monster” by journalist Felipe Cardenas, the defensive midfielder has performed favourably in comparison to his peers, following his involvement in European competition, as he notably ranks in the top 6% for aerial duels won and in the top 2% for clearances made.
The versatile ace – who can also be deployed at centre-back – also enjoyed a fine 2021/22 campaign, averaging two tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game from his 31 league outings, with such form showcasing his undoubted ball-winning talent.
His arrival on Tyneside could well see him form a hugely impressive midfield partnership alongside Bruno Guimaraes, with the Brazilian gem having emerged as a real leading figure at the club following his switch from Lyon in January.
With Newcastle boss Eddie Howe having allowed Isaac Hayden to join Norwich City on loan – and with Jonjo Shelvey currently sidelined with injury – the 24-year-old is currently the only real option to take on the holding midfield role, despite potentially being better suited to a more advanced starting berth.
The £120k-per-week star – who is reportedly attracting attention from Real Madrid – appears a player who could thrive in a more dynamic box-to-box role, as he notably ranks in the top 10% for pressures made among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, as well as in the top 7% for both progressive carries and dribbles completed.
A gifted ball-carrier, the eight-cap sensation could well be somewhat wasted if he remains shackled to more of a defensive berth, hence the need to recruit an individual such as Alvarez who can take on that role in front of the back four.
With the Ajax man acting as that buffer in front of the defence and with Guimaraes lining up just ahead of him, Howe could well have the makings of a truly imperious pairing that would be the envy of clubs across the division.