Serie A giants AC Milan and Napoli have reportedly set their sights on a Bosman swoop for Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar.
According to Daily Mail, Newcastle United are concerned they will lose centre-back, Fabian Schar, on a free transfer this summer. The 30-year-old is in the final four months of his Newcastle contract and is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club ahead of a Bosman move in the summer.
Formerly of TSG Hoffenheim and FC Basel, Schar has been with the Tyneside outfit since 2018, following a bargain £3 million move from Deportivo La Coruna. He has been instrumental to the Magpies’ successful survival bid in recent seasons but fell out of favour under former boss Steve Bruce. To date, Schar has made 88 appearances for Newcastle, chipping in with seven goals and two assists in the process.
He had only made two appearances prior to Eddie Howe’s managerial appointment. Since then, the Swiss international has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance lately and has started all but one of the Magpies’ 13 games under Howe, who is a big admirer of the veteran’s experience and sees him as an important part of the plans moving forward.
That is despite Newcastle bringing in Dan Burn from Brighton & Hove Albion in the January transfer window, while they are also extensively chasing several top centre-halves like Sven Botman and Diego Carlos. However, Newcastle could end up losing Schar in the summer, with Serie A title contenders AC Milan and Napoli among several clubs keeping tabs on the player’s contract situation.
AC Milan’s desperate need for defensive reinforcement has been well-documented. With Simon Kjaer sidelined for a few months due to long-term injury and Alessio Romagnoli stalling on an extension beyond this season, the Rossoneri could do well with signing someone like Schar, who has relevant Premier League and international experience to be more than a good enough backup option.
As for Napoli, Senegalese defensive powerhouse Kalidou Koulibaly is attracting heavy interest from Barcelona, and the Partenopei could consider cashing in on their prized asset in the summer to balance their books. Furthermore, Manchester United loanee Axel Tuanzebe would return to his parent club at the end of the season.
In that event, they could leave themselves light in the defensive department ahead of next season. And while Schar may not be a fancy name, the Swiss international is a solid contributor at the back, courtesy of his decent ball-playing and game-reading attributes. He could well end up being a smart low-key signing for the Naples outfit.
Apart from heavy interest from Serie A, Schar is also drawing interest from Spanish clubs such as Sevilla and Valencia, while a host of unnamed Premier League outfits are also believed to be monitoring his situation.
As it stands, the defender’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season. However, the Magpies are hoping to agree a two-year extension with their star defender, who himself wants to stay at St. James’ Park. Whether Schar pens fresh terms or ends up leaving Newcastle remains to be seen.