Newcastle United are believed to be interested in signing Stuttgart defender Borna Sosa, with the Croatia international said to be open to a departure from his current side.
According to German outlet, Bild, the Magpies have been named as one potential suitor for the 24-year-old, alongside Inter Milan and Atalanta, with the highly-rated full-back believed to be open to a new challenge in the near future.
The report does suggest, however, that the eight-cap sensation – who is set to feature for his country at the upcoming World Cup – is not seeking an exit in January, with a departure more likely to occur in the summer.
The piece goes on to add that the former Dinamo Zagreb man – whose current deal in Germany is set to expire in 2025 – could command a fee of around £17m were he to be sold, having previously been linked with a move to St James’ Park over the summer.
Sosa could well prove to be the long-term fit for Eddie Howe at left-back were he to make the switch in 2023, with the former Bournemouth boss currently utilising Dan Burn as something of a makeshift option in that role, with former Aston Villa man Matt Targett having been reduced to a bit-part status, making just four league starts this season.
While the use of Burn has been a success of late – with the 30-year-old’s form having seen him tipped for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad – there are arguably limitations to having the towering figure in that full-back berth, with the former Brighton and Hove Albion man having failed to provide a single goal involvement this season.
That is where the arrival of the Stuttgart sensation could seemingly bolster the Tynesiders in an attacking sense, with the £10.7k-per-week gem having racked up eight assists in just 12 games so far this term across all fronts, as he unsurprisingly ranks in the top 1% in that metric in Europe among those in his position.
That stunning form has been a continuation of the 6 foot 2 man’s displays in recent seasons, having now racked up 31 assists in just 96 games for the Bundesliga side to date, offering a real creative threat from his left-sided berth.
Dubbed a “crossing machine” by journalist Ronan Murphy, Sosa is arguably a striker’s dream as a result of his willingness to get the ball into the box at every opportunity, showcased by the fact that he ranks second in the German top-flight for crosses from open play (51) so far this term.
Adding a player with such quality delivery – who has been compared to David Beckham for that trait – to Howe’s ranks could well provide greater balance to the backline, with the Croatian able to mirror the talent of Kieran Trippier on the other flank.
The 32-year-old has been a revelation at right-back since his January arrival from Atletico Madrid, going on to register seven goal involvements in just 24 games in that time, while also taking on the captain’s armband ahead of peripheral figure Jamaal Lascelles.
Much like Sosa, Trippier’s stunning delivery has also seen him likened to the aforementioned Beckham by pundit Rob Green in the past, with Newcastle – and the club’s strikers – set to thrive on having two lethal attacking assets from both full-back berths.
If the Zagreb-born ace can go on to replicate the impact of the former Tottenham Hotspur man, then the northeast side could be in for a real treat.