Newcastle United have been dealt a major blow in their bid to bring Niklas Sule to St. James’ Park in the January transfer window.
According to reports in Germany (via Chronicle Live), Julian Nagelsmann looks set to offer the Bayern Munich centre-back, who has been heavily linked with a move to Newcastle this winter, a new contract at the Allianz Arena.
That represents a stumbling block that would appear to all but end any hopes the Magpies may have of landing the 26-year-old any time soon.
Considering just how impressive Sule has been for Bayern in recent seasons, in addition to the fact that the heart of his defence is an area of the pitch in which Eddie Howe simply must strengthen in January, the news of the defender’s new contract is sure to have left the 43-year-old Toon manager gutted.
Indeed, over his 11 Bundesliga appearances this term, the £31.5m-rated man has helped his side keep two clean sheets, registered one assist and created one big chance for his teammates, as well as making an average of 1.2 interceptions, 0.7 tackles, 1.7 clearances and winning 3.4 duels per game.
As such, considering these fine displays, Thomas Muller’s high praise for the Germany international is perhaps not surprising, with the 32-year-old stating: “When he’s on the move, he’s difficult to stop.
“It’s surprising when a central defender starts dribbling all of a sudden. It used to be the case with Lucio. In addition to that, it’s important that he’s stable in body duels and can pick up speed. He is currently doing very well again. That’s the bottom line. When he delivers these performances, then he’s a very important player for us.”
So, considering the fact that no Premier League side have conceded more than Newcastle’s 27 goals so far this season, the addition of a solid, as well as technically gifted, centre-back in the January transfer window would appear very much needed – which is why Sule’s potential unavailability will undoubtedly come as a major blow to PIF and Howe.