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Newcastle could find new Coloccini in Jason Denayer

Newcastle United have learned the latest on the future of Lyon defender Jason Denayer who has been previously linked with a summer move to St. James’ Park.

What’s the latest?

Speaking to Belgian outlet Derniere Heure via The Chronicle, the centre-back’s agent Jesse de Preter said that his client’s next decision will be a ‘sporting’ one.

“Jason remains open to an extension,” de Preter said.

“He is in a comfortable situation and has the luxury of being able to weigh the pros and cons in order to make the right decision.

“His ambition is to play in a Champions League final. Not a dream, an ambition.

“He is entering the best four or five years of his career and wants to make a purely sporting choice.”

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The Mirror reported last month that Newcastle are on red alert for the 26-year-old whose contract at the Ligue 1 club expires in June and who spent the 2016/17 Premier League season on loan at the Magpies’ fierce rivals Sunderland from Manchester City.

Now five years on, the defender is much more mature and has proven to be a shrewd acquisition for French outfit Lyon who signed Denayer from City in August 2018.

Newcastle should sign Denayer

Despite previous connections with Newcastle’s unpopular North-East neighbours, Denayer would certainly be a good signing Eddie Howe’s squad.

The additions of Dan Burn and Kieran Trippier have so far bode well for the Magpies but adding the Belgian at the back would certainly solidify United.

Five years ago, the 26-year-old played 27 times for the Black Cats as they were relegated from the Premier League, a level that the League One outfit can only dream of currently.

Prior to his spell on Wearside, the centre-back excelled on loan for Celtic and emerged in the Belgium set up, with then-manager Marc Wilmots saying: “Jason is like Eden Hazard. Always calm. I’ve never seen him nervous; he has a lot of confidence and there will be someone with experience standing next to him.”

The following campaign saw Denayer join Turkish outfit Galatasaray on loan, for who the Belgian made 22 appearances.

Should Newcastle sign Denayer?

Yes

Yes

No

No

However, it never worked out for the defender at Manchester City, who cashed in on the 33-capped Belgium international in 2018 after he failed to make a single appearance for the first team.

Lyon were the buyers, whom Denayer has made 136 appearances for, 17 of which in the Champions League, and has developed into a mature, European-level defender, something that has been few and far between for the Magpies in recent years.

Indeed, the Toon Army haven’t seen a defender as popular as former centre-back Fabricio Coloccini come through the door at St. James’ Park since the Argentinian’s departure in 2016 and are certainly in need of that type of figure at the back.

During eight years on Tyneside, the now-retired defender made 275 appearances for the Magpies, playing in the Premier League, Europa League and even the Championship for the North-East club.

No other centre-back has come close to that sort of tally but, with serious investment from PIF, there is certainly a possibility for Newcastle to add a defender of serious quality to their ranks in the summer.

Although he has worn the dread red and white of Sunderland in the past, Denayer is a European level defender with plenty of international experience and could be purchased for a bargain fee, with Transfermarkt valuing the 26-year-old at £18m with his contract set to expire in the summer.

In other news: Newcastle learn the latest on Callum Wilson’s fitness