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Report – Newcastle Linked With World Cup Winning Defender

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Newcastle have been heavily linked with Napoli center-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who seems destined to leave the Italian club after six seasons in Naples. The 29-year-old was brought to the club by Rafa Benitez and has since become one of the best defenders in the world.

However, Koulibaly has many suitors and will cost a small fortune as there are still three years left on his contract. So while he may be one of Newcastle’s top defensive targets, there’s likely to be many options on the list.

German outlet Bild is claiming that Bayern Munich’s Lucas Hernandez is one of the players Newcastle are tracking.

The versatile defender joined Bayern Munich this past summer from Atletico Madrid for a whopping £72m. However, the German giants have not gotten their money’s worth just yet.

The 24-year-old has started just 9 times in all competitions in an injury-plagued first season in Germany.

He suffered a serious ankle injury in October that kept him out for close to four months. It was his second severe injury in two seasons. He missed the final 3 months of 2018 with a ligament injury to his knee.

Lucas Hernandez– Newcastle interested in French international

Hernandez started 6 of the first 8 Bundesliga matches, but due to the rise of left-back Alphonso Davies, he’s started just once since his return from injury.

Davies’s emergence pushed Swiss international David Alaba inside to center-back, where he’s partnered primarily with Jerome Boateng. Bayern also have German international Niklas Sule, who is returning from a cruciate ligament injury suffered earlier this season.

Hernandez can play either on the left or in the center. He starred at left-back during France’s World Cup victory in 2018, starting every match.

While at Atletico Madrid, the Frenchman also split time at left-back and in central defense. His versatility is one of his strengths.

Bayern manager Hansi Flick is currently committed to his back four of Davies, Alaba, Boateng, and French international Benjamin Pavard. He kept the same back four in Bayern’s 2-0 victory over Union Berlin in the Bundesliga’s return this past weekend.

Last month sporting director Hasan Salihamidizc backed Hernandez to overcome his disappointing start at Bayern saying the following:

“It’s unfortunate that he didn’t get off to a good start with us due to injury, but these things happen. Lucas has the quality and the will to come out of such a situation stronger.

“His transfer was unanimously approved by the board of directors and the supervisory board, and we are convinced that he will be of great help to our team.”

Hernandez is going to find it very difficult to break through at Bayern Munich. He’s now the third choice at left-back and likely fourth choice at center-back, once Sule returns.

His versatility would make him an interesting option for Newcastle as we will likely add another left-back this summer even if Jetro Willems is brought.

Maybe a loan with an option to buy would be worthwhile this summer. However, a permanent move doesn’t seem worth the risk as Newcastle should have plenty of options that would make much more sense.

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