Inside Futbol have a report that Newcastle sent scouts to watch Hellas Verona defender Koray Gunter on Monday night. Verona drew 0-0 at home against Udinese in the game. The report cites Italian outlets and also states that a bid could be made in January.
Gunter is a 6’1″ center-back who can also play defensive midfield and right-back. He is on loan with an option to buy at Verona. Should Verona take up the option to purchase the 25-year-old, Genoa will have a buy-back clause activated for the player.
The former U20 German international came through the Dortmund Academy where he made only one appearance for the first-team. He joined Galatasaray in 2014 but struggled to get into the side. He missed the entire 2016-17 season with a cruciate ligament injury in his knee. The following season he played sparingly before joining Genoa on a free transfer in the summer of 2018.
Gunter also found it hard to break into the Genoa side despite them using a back three similar to Newcastle. He started only 8 games last season before joining the recently promoted Hellas Verona this summer. He has featured regularly for Verona thus far in Serie A.
We are not sold on Gunter being an improvement on Newcastle’s current crop of defenders. The big scare is that he is being scouted as a replacement for Fabian Schar this January.
Verona also line-up in a back three this season. Gunter is naturally right-footed, so we are concerned he is being scouted as cover should Schar be lured away. Fabian, whose contract is due to run out in two years, would likely fetch a very high fee if Newcastle decided to cash in on him this winter.
We hope it does not come to that and the club can get the 27-year-old to sign a new contract. He has been our best player this season and is fast becoming a Newcastle legend despite only being here for a little over a year.