In Focus: Newcastle target Nagatomo would add quality and experience at left-back

According to Italian media outlet Tuttomercatoweb, via talkSPORT, Newcastle United are one of three Premier League clubs tracking Inter Milan left-back Yugo Nagatomo.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Tuttomercatoweb says that the Serie A giants have recently offered the 31-year-old a new contract to stay at the San Siro with his current deal due to run out in 2019, but the Japan international is said to be considering trying a new challenge elsewhere.

Nagatomo certainly doesn’t appear to be short of options if he did want to move the Premier League, with the Magpies, Burnley and West Bromwich Albion all said to be keen on the full-back.

Why would Newcastle want to sign Nagatomo?

With 99 Japan caps to his name and having made 202 appearances in all competitions for Inter since joining them in 2011, there is no doubt that the 31-year-old is a hugely experienced and reliable left-back.

Despite his age he has appeared in five of his side’s seven Serie A fixtures this term, and as well as showing his defensive qualities over the years Nagatomo has also been a threat at the other end of the pitch by scoring 11 goals and assisting a further 18 in those 202 outings.

With Newcastle losing Paul Dummett to injury it has meant that the likes of Chancel Mbemba, Javier Manquillo and Jesus Gamez have filled in at left-back recently, but with the position not being any of those players’ preferred one Rafa Benitez could look to bring in someone like Nagatomo in the New Year or even next summer.

What happens next?

While a move to the Premier League is of course an attractive option, you would still expect Nagatomo to stay with Inter if he has been offered a new contract because they are such a big club.

Of course his decision could depend on whether he will be a first team regular at the San Siro, but the fact that he has started four of their seven Serie A matches so far this season would currently suggest that he is.

If that were to change in the coming weeks and months however and they were able to get him in January, Newcastle should certainly look to sign the 31-year-old to provide some quality and pace in the full-back areas.