Newcastle Seriously Interested In Swedish U-21 International

Newcastle have already been linked a few times this summer with Swedish U-21 International Felip Helander who currently plays for Hellas Verona in Italy who were relegated to Serie B last season.

The 23 year-old 6ft 4ins central defender only moved to Italy from Malmo last summer on a four year deal – and Gazzetta dello Sport are reporting today in Italy that Newcastle have shown serious interest in this player.

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Filip Helander in action for Hellas Verona

We have a number of reports on the blog in the first half of this month that linked us with this player, so that’s not a surprise.

The question is if he wants to leave Italy, presumably because he’s playing in the second division there, would he be willing to join Newcastle who are in England’s second division next season?

Last season Felip played 26 times for Verona with a couple of goals.

Helander had been at his home town club Malmo for four seasons before he moved to Italy – and he played 94 times with 3 goals for them during that time.

He made his debut for Verona last September against Inter-Milan in a 1-0 defeat at the San Siro and then he started the next game against Lazio.

In the first half of that game Helander scored his first goal for the club, but Verona ended up losing 2-1 to the Rome club.

He has been capped at Swedish U-17 and U-19 level and played 19 times for the Sweden U-21 side from 2012 through last year.

Since Newcastle currently have only three recognized center-backs in Jamaal Lascelles, Chancel Mbemba and Grant Hanley maybe Rafa wants to bring in a fourth to round out the squad?

Newcastle do have players like Jesus Gamez, Issac Hayden, Paul Dummett and Daryl Janmaat who can play in central defense so we would be a little surprised if Rafa is after another center-back.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.