In Focus: Bargain defender could be mainstay in Newcastle side

As reported by The Evening Chronicle, Newcastle are closing in on a move for La Liga defender Florian Lejeune.

What’s the story?

Rafa Benitez is on the hunt for players he feels can make Newcastle United a force in the English Premier League next season and it seems he’s settled on one defensive target.

The Evening Chronicle reckon the Magpies have been back in contact with Eibar to try and seal an £8.7m move for French defender Florian Lejeune.

The exact details of the deal have yet to be formalised according to the report but the Spanish club are said to be expecting it to just be a matter of days.

What does he offer?

He was one of the standout defenders in La Liga last season. The 26-year-old made 34 appearances to help Eibar to a 10th-place finish, and his contribution at the back was particularly impressive.

The Frenchman produced 195 clearances and 77 interceptions, while he showed his strength in the air by also winning 108 aerial duels.

Lejeune certainly looks to have all of the attributes to make an impression in the Premier League, but the transition to English football may be a difficult one. He did sign for Manchester City and fail to make a single appearance after all.

Still, Newcastle appear to have a solid defender here if they can get the deal over the line and in time the reported fee could prove to be a massive bargain.