Newcastle United, Aston Villa set to scout Attila Szalai

Newcastle United and Aston Villa will reportedly send scouts to watch Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai in action against Galatasaray this weekend.

According to Turkish publication Fanatik, Aston Villa and Newcastle United have their sights on Fenerbahce’s Hungarian centre-back Attila Szalai. The Premier League duo will have scouts watching the defender when he takes the field against Galatasaray this weekend.

Szalai started his footballing journey in Hungary before moving to the academy of Austrian outfit Rapid Wien at a young age in 2012. Having risen through the ranks, he made just one senior appearance for the club before returning to his homeland in 2017 when he signed for Mezokovesd.

After two seasons, Szalai signed for Romanian club Apollon Limassol where he spent eighteen months before ending up at Fenerbahce in January last year. Since landing in Turkey, the 24-year-old has quickly established himself as a mainstay at the heart of the defence for the Yellow Canaries, making 62 appearances.

Szalai is also a regular for the Hungarian national team, for whom he has featured 23 times. His growth for club and country has led to interest from clubs across Europe, with Chelsea being credited with an interest in the defender not long ago. Now, Aston Villa and Newcastle United have also entered the fray to sign the 24-year-old. 

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Aston Villa are looking to strengthen their options at the heart of the backline as Ezri Konsa could be sold by the club, with the Englishman attracting interest from Arsenal. With Tyrone Mings also blowing hot and cold of late, adding another centre-half would be a sensible move for Steven Gerrard’s side.

It has led to links with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, while they are planning on scouting Fenerbahce’s Szalai. In the same game this weekend, Villa will also be monitoring Galatasaray’s Danish defender Victor Nelsson.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United are also scouring the market for defensive reinforcements to reinforce their backline that was already bolstered by the January signing of Dan Burn. With Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark likely to leave and Jamaal Lascelles not enjoying the most consistent of runs in the side, Eddie Howe’s side could do with additional reinforcements.

Sven Botman of LOSC Lille has been Newcastle’s priority target. But a move for the Dutchman looks unlikely, with AC Milan favourites to sign him. So, the Magpies are keeping an eye out for alternative options such as RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, with Szalai also emerging as an option for the cash-rich Premier League giants. 

Apart from Aston Villa and Newcastle, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid are also set to scout Szalai on the weekend. So, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the race for the Hungarian international.

Featured Image Courtesy: – Hungarian Football Federation (Wikimedia Commons)

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