Newcastle United are set to rival Borussia Dortmund in the race to sign SC Freiburg defender Nico Schlotterbeck.
According to reliable German outlet, Ruhr Nachrichten, Nico Schlotterbeck is facing an uncertain future at SC Freiburg. The centre-back has attracted widespread interest from European clubs following his consistent performances in the Bundesliga. The likes of Newcastle United, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are some of the clubs interested in his services in the summer.
Dortmund have been tagged as favourites as Bayern Munich are favouring a free transfer, whereas Newcastle’s interest was not met with much approval. However, the Magpies remain in contention to sign the German next summer, and it won’t be surprising to see them flex their financial muscle to leapfrog Dortmund in the race.
Formerly of the Karlsruhe youth academy, Schlotterbeck has enjoyed swift growth in the Bundesliga since his successful loan spell at Union Berlin last season. The centre-back was notably an ever-present figure in the Union backline during the second half of the campaign, building a formidable defensive partnership alongside Marvin Friedrich and helping the club qualify for Europe.
Schlotterbeck is replicating those performances at Freiburg as well, forming a solid foundation in defence alongside ex-Real Madrid starlet Philipp Lienhart. Their collective contributions have helped Freiburg remain in contention for a potential top-four finish in the Bundesliga this term, while the defender may soon earn an international cap as well.
Schlotterbeck’s rapid rise to prominence has put Dortmund on alert. The Black and Yellows have recently announced the signing of Niklas Sule from Bayern Munich on a Bosman deal. They are prepared to acquire another top-quality centre-back amid the uncertain future of Manuel Akanji.
The Swiss international has been linked with a move to Manchester United lately, thus accentuating the need for someone like Schlotterbeck. However, it appears Die Schwarzgelben are set to face stiff competition from Newcastle United in the pursuit of the Freiburg starlet next summer.
After a busy January transfer window that saw them shell out over €100 million, the Magpies are expected to splash the cash once again in the summer. One of their priorities is fixing the leaky defensive unit, with the club seemingly keen on securing the services of Lloyd Kelly, among many others.
Nico Schlotterbeck, to that end, could be an excellent alternative. The German has more experience at the highest level of football and could prove to be a success in the Premier League due to his imposing figure and no-nonsense defensive philosophy. However, with Dortmund also involved in the race, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the 22-year-old next season.