Newcastle United are eyeing a move for Genk’s £8million-rated defender Wilfred Ndidi.
The 19-year-old is a Nigeria international and has attracted the attention of some big European clubs with a string of composed performances for the Jupiler League club – who turned down a £5million approach from Hamburg in the summer.
But according to sources in Belgium, United have run the rule over him several times this season – there is a strong indication that Genk may sell one of their prize assets in January.
United would have to go considerably above the £5million that the Bundesliga club had turned down, but there WILL be money to spend in January with Newcastle also set to off-load Cheick Tiote.
Newcastle watched Genk’s Europa League game against Sassuolo last month are were impressed by Ndidi, who is primarily a central defender but can play in midfield and at full-back. He is a Nigeria international but, crucially, will qualify for a Belgian passport soon.
He is no stranger to Premier League scouts: Watford and Spurs were looking at him in the summer. But he would fit the bill for Newcastle’s approach in the next transfer window, which will be to buy players who can operate in the Championship but also excel in the Premier League if United go up.
He also fits the bill of being a player who could improve under Rafa Benitez, who has asked his scouts to continue looking in Europe for prospects.
Newcastle have money to spend in January and despite boasting a squad that has two players for every position, they will look to recruit if the player is right.
Ndidi is strong, quick and skilful. He was named one of the best young players in Belgium last season and has already played twice for Nigeria.
Evening chronicle, UK