Newcastle United are interested in a summer swoop for Bayer Leverkusen’s Kerem Demirbay, according to reports.
What’s the latest on Newcastle’s interest in Demirbay?
As per Sky Sports in Germany, Newcastle are closely monitoring the German’s situation with the player exploring the possibility of a move this summer.
The report suggests a price of between €4m-€5m (£3.5m-£4.5m) could be enough for Leverkusen to part ways with a man who German sides Hertha Berlin and Florenz tried unsuccessfully to prise away in January.
The 29-year-old is only contracted until 2024, so the Bundesliga side may look to cash in to avoid him leaving for free next summer.
Why are Newcastle interested in Demirbay?
The Magpies will be on the lookout for new midfielders ahead of the 2023-24 season, as they prepare to compete in – most likely – the Champions League, or at least some form of European football, for the first time since 2013.
Newcastle are short of options in the middle of the park beyond the regular starters, and the Daily Telegraph’s Luke Edwards has revealed that central midfield is a priority area for PIF this summer.
Demirbay would provide a sensible target for Newcastle.
Although he may not become a consistent starter in the Premier League, he is a high-quality, experienced option in the middle of the park who would be available for a bargain price.
Magpies fans’ eyes will light up by seeing FBref rank current Geordie cult hero Bruno Guimaraes as having the most similar statistical profile to Demirbray, which gives a sense of his style of play and the impact he could have at St James’ Park.
In addition, he knows Joelinton well, having made 26 appearances alongside him at Hoffenheim in the 2018/19 season – as per Transfermarkt.
Demirbay has made 29 appearances in all competitions, netting four goals and providing three assists.
These statistics suggest that he has the potential to be a valuable contributor, who can impact the game both as a goal scorer and as a provider from midfield, showcasing his versatility as a box-to-box player.
The £83k-per-week dynamo has been described as “brilliant” by BBC Sport journalist Emma Smith and a player ‘capable of befuddling opposition defenders and goalkeepers with his incisive left boot’ with ‘pinpoint passing ability’ by the Bundesliga’s official website.
If PIF can get a deal for Demirbay over the line this summer he would provide an experienced, cost-effective addition to their midfield as they look to advance to the next stage of their project.