Newcastle United are reportedly interested in a January swoop for Eintracht Frankfurt’s attacking midfielder Filip Kostic.
According to the German outlet Sport Bild, Newcastle United’s new owners are actively compiling up a shortlist of transfer targets ahead of the upcoming January transfer window. They can be actively shopping in the German Bundesliga for their requirements, with Bayern Munich’s defender Niklas Sule and Eintracht Frankfurt attacking midfielder Filip Kostic among the players on their radar.
Plenty of transfer targets have been mooted around since the Toon’s Saudi-led takeover, and now the German media suggests Ralf Rangnick and Lucien Favre are the leading contenders to take over as the manager at the Tyneside club. Hence it comes to no surprise that a host of Bundesliga star names are now being linked with the club, and Filip Kostic is among them.
After initially finding his feet in German football with VfB Stuttgart, the Serbian talent moved to Hamburger SV but looked fading away after only registering nine goals in 65 appearances, cutting a frustrating figure at Volksparkstadion. But, that was before he joined Eintracht Frankfurt back in the summer of 2018 in a season-long loan deal.
The ex-Groningen ace quickly became a vital member of then-manager Adi Hutter’s tactical system, excelling in the wing-back role. He produced six goals and 11 assists from 34 league matches forcing Die Adler to sign him permanently for a bargain £5.40 million transfer fee.
Since then, he has gone from strength to strength and is revered as one of the best creators in the German top-flight. The Serbian international has more than 20 goal involvements across all competitions in each of his past three seasons and bagged 14 league assists in Bundesliga last season- the second-highest among the top five European leagues only behind Bayern’s Thomas Muller. He is certainly on course to achieve similar stats this campaign, having already netted twice while assisting a further 3 times from 6 league outings so far.
His remarkable consistency has not gone unnoticed as he attracted interest from several Italian clubs and was close to joining Lazio this summer before the talks ultimately collapsed. His contract is set to expire in June 2023, and it’s said that the player has no interest in extending his stay with the Bundesliga outfit and might look for a fresh challenge in the coming transfer windows.
The 28-year-old is primarily a winger converted wing-back. Tenacious and aggressive defensively, the Serbian is an excellent crosser and is very effective in the final third. His versatile nature means he can also operate on either wings if needed. Kostic fits the bill perfectly for the Magpies new regime.
The full-back department is one of many weak areas for Newcastle, who primarily deploy a 3-4-3 setup with Matt Ritchie and Jacob Murphy or Javier Manquillo featuring as wing-backs, with Jamal Lewis as backup on their roster. None of them provides much attacking threat and have been regularly exposed defensively. And though Ryan Fraser could be a good option, he has struggled to break into the starting XI since arriving last year.
All transfer links are likely to be unfounded until Newcastle appoint a new manager and director of football, and tt remains to be seen whether these Kostic links have any substance or are just rumours.