Rafa Benitez has talked recently about the targets he has in the January transfer window and it seems he has identified the positions he wants to strengthen the squad in.
It’s always difficult to know exactly which positions they could be – but one of them could be center-back.
Last season’s number one choice at center-back, Chancel Mbemba seems out of favor at the club at the moment and his last two starts have not gone well at all.
Nikola Milenkovic – Partizan Belgrade center-back
They were both home games against Wolves and Blackburn Rovers that ended in shock defeats and Chancel did not play well in either game – in fact he looked poor.
It could be that Rafa could sell Chancel in the summer, just less than two years after we brought him in from Belgium club Anderlecht for around £9M.
If center-back is one of the positions to strengthen, Newcastle have been heavily linked with 19 year-old Serbian defender Nikola Milenkovic of Partizan Belgrade all season.
But Newcastle will face huge competition for the teenager from Juventus who are said to be tracking the player and wanting to buy him in January.
On November 22nd Italian transfer pundit Fabrizio Romano reported in calciomercato.com that the Italian giants had inquired about the Partizan central defender who “they have fallen in love with him.”
Juventus and Newcastle have been watching him regularly and he’s looked impressive in the Partizan first team.
In his reporting Romano has said Juventus will face competition from some English clubs for Milenkovic – and especially from Newcastle United.
Milenkovic is 6ft 5ins tall and made his debut for Partizan against Mladost Lucani in April of this year and he has one cap for Serbia, when he played against Qatar in a September friendly.
He has a contract that lasts through June, 2020 and he’s now played 36 times for Partizan with two goals and is getting regular playing time for Partizan.
Nikola could be a target of Newcastle’s this January and if we cannot get him then – watch for a bid to be made this summer.
Other clubs also tracking him are reported by the Sun to be Ajax and Anderlecht – as well as Newcastle and Juventus.
What do you think?