Newcastle among Defrel suitors this summer

According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Newcastle United are interested in a deal for Roma forward Gregoire Defrel this summer.

What’s the story?

Defrel is widely expected to leave Roma this summer, and a number of clubs – including Everton, Crystal Palace and West Ham United – have been linked with a move.

However, according to Di Marzio, Newcastle are also in the race as Magpies boss Rafael Benitez looks to sign a new striker ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

Benitez recently admitted that he would have to sell before he could buy this summer, but it is being reported that Defrel could be available on loan.

The Premier League outfit are believed to be in a strong position to complete a deal for West Bromwich Albion forward Salomon Rondon.

However, supplementing Rondon’s arrival with the signature of Defrel would certainly leave the club in a much healthier position entering the new season.

Why is Defrel available this summer?

The 27-year-old scored 23 times in 73 appearances for Sassuolo before moving to Roma in last summer’s transfer window.

The 5ft 11in Frenchman really struggled to make his mark at Stadio Olimpico, however, managing just one goal in 20 appearances in all competitions.

It is understood that Roma want to sell the centre-forward this summer, but would also be open to a loan exit, which puts Newcastle firmly in the race.

Defrel is not exactly the type of signing that would set pulses racing at St James’ Park, but he would be a good addition if Rondon also made the move.

Taking the Frenchman on loan – if that is indeed an option – would be a no-brainer for a team needing to upgrade the likes of Dwight Gayle and Joselu ahead of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign.