It’s almost certain that Chancel Mbemba will be leaving Newcastle this summer, since he hasn’t had much of a look in this season under Rafa Benitez – and the last two times he has played – both defeats he played poorly.
And it may even be that Grant Hanley could move on, although Hanley is a good player who has played in the Premier League before for Blackburn Rovers and made 31 appearances in England’s top division.
So it seems that Rafa Benitez will be bringing at least one new center-back in this summer to fight for a first team place, which at the moment are held by captain Jamaal Lascelles and former Villa defender Ciaran Clark.
19 year-old 6ft 5ins Partizan center-back Nikola Milenkovic
Both center-backs have played well and had good seasons for the Magpies.
One center-back who we have been linked with over the last six months or so is Partizan Belgrade center-back Nikola Milenkovic, the once capped Serbian International who at 19 years-old is one of the best young defenders in Europe.
The 6ft 5ins center-back came through the famous Youth Academy at Partizan and made his debut for the first team in the SuperLiga match against Mladost Lucani in April of 2015.
Rafa has had Newcastle scouts watching the youngster a number of times this season and he’s looked impressive.
Milenkovic has been a regular in the Partizan side this season but last November there was also significant interest shown in him by Italian giants Juventas, so Newcastle will likely face competition for him in the summer.
Other clubs said to be interested in him also include Ajax and Anderlecht and in late January Italian club Fiorentina were reported to be close to a deal for the center-back.
And Milenkovic almost moved to Anderlecht in a €4M deal in January, but when they failed to complete the transfer of Kara Mbodji to Leicester City, they withdrew their offer for the 19 year-old.
Milenkovic has a contract that lasts through June, 2020 and he would be an excellent signing for us this summer.
What do you think?