Newcastle United are reportedly leading the race to sign AS Roma’s Brazilian defender Roger Ibanez, who could be allowed to leave this summer.

According to the print edition of Il Messaggero, as relayed by Football Italia, Newcastle United are interested in signing Roger Ibanez from AS Roma in the current transfer window and are the favourites to land the Brazilian.

Ibanez has been with Roma since January 2020, when he joined on loan from Atalanta. His transfer was made permanent last summer in a deal worth a total of €10 million. The 23-year-old was a regular in Jose Mourinho’s side last season and helped them win the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League.

However, as per the report, Mourinho and Roma are ready to move on from Ibanez this summer and have made him available for a transfer. Newcastle United are among several clubs to have shown an interest in the Brazilian and are now leading the race to sign the centre-back.

Newcastle have already signed a new central defender in the form of Sven Botman, to add more quality to their defensive roster. However, it seems like Eddie Howe is keen on bringing in another centre-half before the transfer window slams shut. 

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With Ciaran Clark leaving and the future of Federico Fernandez uncertain, Newcastle United could do with another defender to compete with and cover for Fabian Schar, Dan Burn, Jamaal Lascelles and Botman. It had led to the Magpies being linked with a move for Tottenham Hotspur star Japhet Tanganga, but the Englishman is likely to join AC Milan.

Newcastle have also been keeping tabs on Roger Ibanez for a while now and seem likely to make a move for the Brazilian centre-half. As per the report, the Tyneside outfit have emerged as the favourites to sign the defender. But with three years left on his contract with the Giallorossi, the 23-year-old is unlikely to come cheap.

While Ibanez is a talented young defender, Newcastle United have more pressing concerns to address at the moment, such as the need for a new centre-forward and wide attacker. So, a move for the AS Roma star can wait as he would be a luxury addition at this point.

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