Newcastle United are reportedly on the cusp of signing Barcelona and Real Madrid target Ivan Fresneda from Real Valladolid after “done deal” reports.

According to journalist Fernando Kallas, as relayed by ChronicleLive, Newcastle United are inching closer to bringing 18-year-old Spanish wonderkid Ivan Fresneda to St James Park from Real Valladolid, beating La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid to his signature.

The Spanish football expert also revealed that the 18-year-old has already said goodbye to his teammates, with a move to Newcastle “fairly a done deal.”

Fresneda has emerged as one of Europe’s top young defensive prospects despite only making his league debut at the start of September. A former Real Madrid academy product, he left the club in 2018 and spent two years at the Leganes youth setup before ending up at Valladolid in 2020.

Robust, swashbuckling, fast, good in both attack and defence, and delivering mature performances beyond his years, the teenager is really making an impact in his breakout season as a starter for Real Valladolid.

So far in 2022/23, Fresneda has featured eight times for Valladolid, and the teenage right-back’s performances are turning many heads in the European circuit. So much so that practically every European giant you could possibly think of has sent scouts to check on him in the last few months.

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Indeed, Real Madrid and Barcelona are impressed with the Valladolid right-back and have even held conversations over a potential move.

Real Madrid, for one, were greatly impressed by Fresneda in their recent La Liga match, where the youngster put on a great performance, engaging in a great duel with Vinicius Junior, who rarely had a sniff on the night and was restricted by Fresneda’s tight marking. Los Blancos have been intrigued by Fresneda’s progression and might view him as a long-term successor for veteran Dani Carvajal.

As for interest from Barcelona, the Catalans’ search for a new right-back is no secret. With Hector Bellerin not performing to expectations, Xavi and co. are hunting for reinforcements and have identified several possible candidates. Fresneda has also emerged as a target for Barça; however, given their financial fair play issues, they are unlikely to make a play for the teenager in January.

As a consequence, Newcastle United are leading the race to secure the Spanish Under-18 international’s services. The Magpies have been keeping tabs on the 18-year-old for some time now, with the head of recruitment Steve Nickson spotted sitting alongside the player’s agent Luis Bardaji during Real Valladolid’s 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid last week.

The Tynesiders are looking for long-term replacements for 32-year-old Kieran Trippier, with West Ham United’s Harrison Ashby also on their radar, but they are now closing in on a deal to land Fresneda.

The 18-year-old is under contract at Valladolid until 2025 and has a release clause understood to be around £26 million; however, the English club are trying to get a structured deal over the line with a £10 million initial fee rising to almost £30 million.

Fresneda is likely to progress under Howe’s tutelage, and he has the potential to become an important first-team player for Newcastle, possibly Trippier’s eventual replacement. At the stated price, the move would also be low risk, and the transfer would have a huge upside if the player lives up to his potential.

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