Central defender eyed by Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United have been linked with a move for Ghana international defender Kasim Nuhu.

Reports in Africa claim the Magpies have opened up talks with the Young Boys centre-half, after Swiss newspapers first reported Rafa Benitez’s interest last month.

The 22-year-old has impressed for the Swiss outfit this season, playing 45 times in 2017/18, alongside former United full-back Kevin Mbabu, who was himself linked with a shock move to Manchester United this week.

It is understood the defender, who has two caps for his country, is rated in the £8million bracket.
That kind of figure would fit nicely into Rafa Benitez’s summer budget, whether he is backed heavily or given the bare minimum of the TV cash pot to spend, as was the case last season.

Benitez may well look to add another central defender to his ranks this summer, with Chancel Mbemba being pushed out of the exitdoor.

Although, a right-back remains a priority, with Benitez keen to bring in competition for DeAndre Yedlin.

Meanwhile, United have confirmed their plans for pre-season.

Benitez’s men have announced four friendlies to date, with at least one more to be confirmed in due course.

Players will return to training in early July before jetting off to County Kildare in Ireland for a training camp from July 11, based at Carton Houses.

While in Ireland, Newcastle will take part in their first friendly as they face St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on July 17.

On their return to England, United will travel to the KCOM Stadium to take on Hull City on July 24.

That is followed by a trip to Portugal to take on European giants Porto, who lost out to Liverpool in this season’s Champions League.

The fixture at Estadio de Dragao will form part of the Portuguese side’s 125th anniversary celebrations and will take place on July 28.

Newcastle’s sole home pre-season friendly is on August 4 as German side FC Augsburg make the trip to St James’s Park.

Benitez is also hoping to have another pre-season friendly on Wednesday, August 1.