Newcastle United are interested in launching a move for Chelsea target Thomas Strakosha. The 27-year old plays in goal for Serie A side Lazio and has been their first-choice shot-stopper since 2016. His current contract is now coming to an end in Italy and the player is free to leave next month.
The Mirror reported that Strakosha was closing in on a bosman move to Fulham, who earned a promotion to the Premier League but Chelsea have now emerged as an interested party. This has delayed the Albanian's decision and Newcastle United have continued monitoring him, hoping to bring him to St. James' Park.
If the Blues do sign him, then he will mostly play back-up to Eduoard Mendy and this transfer may as well spell the end of Kepa Arrizabalaga's stay at Chelsea. However, with Eddie Howe's first-choice being Martin Dubravka, now a 33-year old, it could give Strakosha a chance to directly walk into the side and guard the goal.
In terms of the stature of the clubs and the competitions in which Thomas Tuchel's side competes, Strakosha will definitely see Stamford Bridge as a more appealing destination. But Newcastle United can promise him regular game time and as a 27-year old, he may prioritize that.
Back in 2020, former Lazio assistant manager Alberto Bollini described the Albanian as "tenacious" and having "extraordinary athleticism." With the backing of their new owners in the PIF, the Magpies are looking to close the gap on the Premier League's 'top six' and pipping them for signings in the transfer market is a good start.
Newcastle United willing to pay massive release clause to sign Chelsea target
It is not just Thomas Strakosha that Eddie Howe could land at St. James' Park and hurt Thomas Tuchel's transfer plans. If Mundo Deportivo, via SportWitness are to be believed then Newcastle United can cause greater damage to Chelsea by signing their number one target Jules Kounde.
The Magpies, backed by the mammoth financial resources of the PIF, are reportedly ready to pay the French defender's release clause of €90m. In the previous few months, Chelsea and Barcelona have been battling for Kounde's signature but have both been trying to agree a deal worth less than his release clause.
The Spanish outlet also suggests that the Sevilla defender is looking to leave the Andalusian club to play for a more competitive side. This is definitely a blow to Newcastle United, who are only left with the cash as an advantage in this move, which Kounde and Sevilla may not be prioritising on.