Josip Juranovic on Newcastle United radar

Premier League high-flyers Newcastle United are reportedly interested in 27-year-old Celtic defender Josip Juranovic after his impressive World Cup exploits with Croatia.

According to 90min, Newcastle United want Josip Juranovic, with Celtic seemingly expecting to lose the Croatian international defender during the January transfer window.

In sharp contrast to their dismal predicament only a year ago, Newcastle United are out of the blue contending with the Premier League’s elite sides for a Champions League berth. Eddie Howe has overseen a stunning turnaround in their fortunes, and his side currently sits third in the league table, above Chelsea, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur.

While the former Bournemouth coach will have been very pleased with his side’s indomitable performances prior to the mid-season break, Newcastle will need to keep looking for ways to improve their squad to consolidate their current position, with several top guns hot on their heels and ready to splash the cash next month.

As such, although Newcastle’s uber-rich owners are not planning to break the bank, significant funds will be provided to allow Howe and co. to bolster several key areas of the squad. The Magpies have been looking for more depth on the right side of the defence. Kieran Trippier is the first choice, but behind him, Javier Manquillo has fallen out of favour under Howe, while Emil Krafth is sidelined with a long-term injury.

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West Ham youngster Harrison Ashby looked set to join the Magpies last summer, only for the Hammers to pull out of the deal at the last minute on deadline day.

Recent reports have suggested that the Magpies will get their man this time around. In fact, 90min reports that the full-back is expected to join Eddie Howe’s side for a small fee during the upcoming January transfer window. However, another more prominent and established option has arrived in the rumour mill in the form of Croatia’s World Cup semi-finalist Josip Juranovic.

The Celtic man has garnered attention for his performances at the ongoing FIFA World Cup. Juranovic has been an integral part of the Chequered Ones’ campaign in Qatar so far, playing for the entirety of all their five matches until the semi-finals. He notably bagged an assist in their 4-1 group-stage victory over Canada.

The Hoops right back shone in the quarter-finals and arguably had the game of his life as Croatia defied the odds to dump the favourites, Brazil, out after a dramatic penalty shoot-out and reach back-to-back World Cup semi-finals, where they face Argentina.

Not only did the Celtic star manage to keep one of the world’s best wingers, Vinicius Jr., in his back pocket, but his ball-carrying was breathtaking in the first half. Picking the ball up inside his own half, or sometimes the penalty box, Juranovic surged forward with it, backed by his blistering pace, to force Brazil all the way back on his own.

Contracted at Parkhead until 2026, the in-demand full-back’s stock continues to rise and his stellar performances for Croatia are certainly not going unnoticed, with Newcastle now eyeing him up as a potential January target. However, signing him won’t be easy with several other clubs also expressing interest, including Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and West Ham United.

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