There was a story in The Mirror yesterday that Newcastle were keeping abreast of Burnley midfielder Jack Cork’s contract situation. The 31-year-old is out of contract in the summer and with Burnley’s ownership in flux, talks on a new contract have not begun.
While Newcastle dipped heavily into the free-agent market this past summer, including signing Jeff Hendrick after his contract ran out at Turf Moor, we just don’t see much in this link to Cork. First of all, he’ll be 32 by the start of next season, and he’s not really the type of midfielder we need at the moment.
A more realistic link could be to Austrian international Raphael Holzhauser (pictured above). Sport Witness is citing a report from Jeunes Footeux in France that Newcastle and Hertha Berlin are interested in the midfielder.
The 27-year-old is the type of midfielder Bruce covets. At 6’4″, he’s a strong force in the center of the pitch who loves to attack. He could be a much cheaper option than some of the other box to box type midfielders we’ve been linked with as his contract also runs out next summer.
Holzhauser plies his trade for Beerschot in Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League. He joined the club as a free agent in the summer of 2019 after leaving the Swiss club Grasshoppers.
This season he’s been nothing short of sensational scoring 8 goals with 9 assists in his 12 appearances. Last season, he put up gaudy numbers as well scoring 7 while assisting on 9. His form has seen him drafted into the full Austrian side where he made his debut last month.
Holzhauser is a product of the Rapid Vienna Academy in his native Austria. He’s had loan spells in Germany with Augsburg and Stuttgart before joining Grasshoppers on a free in 2018.
The midfielder is currently in talks with Beerschot to renew his contract. However, if he keeps up his current form, it may be in his best interest to become a free agent for the third time. He’ll have some better clubs to choose from this time around, maybe even Newcastle United.