Mikel Arteta after the draw with Newcastle United
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Newcastle United, Juventus and a host of other interested clubs have bizarrely been encouraged to swoop for Spanish wonderkid Ivan Fresneda – by his own manager. The Real Valladolid starlet is in impressive form and the Magpies are reportedly preparing to launch a bid over the coming days.
Kieran Trippier has revamped the right-back position at St James’ Park but, at 32 years old, manager Eddie Howe knows that his peak will not last long. Pursuing a player at the other end of the spectrum could therefore be good business if the Toon are to remain fighting among the Premier League’s big guns.
Fresneda certainly fits into that category as a player not long past his 18th birthday. The Spanish full-back broke into the Valladolid first team last season and he is quickly rising through the ranks under manager Pacheta.
Curiously enough, the Valladolid boss has admitted that an exit could be on the cards and gone one better by encouraging Newcastle and the hoard of interested clubs to make their move ‘without hesitation’.
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“I think Fresneda has few games left with the Real Valladolid shirt,” admitted Pacheta. “He is 18 years old, but he does things that people of 30 do. If I was at another club, I would go for him without hesitation, his data is brutal and you are not buying the current player, you are buying what he can become in a few years.”
Although the likes of Juve, Real Madrid and a cluster of Premier League sides have also been linked to Fresneda, Newcastle would appear to be at the front of the queue. According to AS, a formal offer is expected in the coming days, or even hours, which could total up to £13million.
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That would fall some way short of his £26m release clause but Valladolid may look to get the transfer done quickly so they can set about finding his replacement. Fresneda is supposedly against the idea of going to Madrid – with whom he spent four years in the academy – with first-team opportunities a priority.
Newcastle scout Steve Nickson has already been to see the 18-year-old live and supposedly held a meeting with his agent a few days ago. The transfer window is now an exciting time for Magpies fans but Howe claims that financial regulations could slow down the process of squad development.
“As a manager, I am always looking to improve the team,” he said last month. “I will never sit here and be content – I don’t think that is the right way to manage. My way to take the team to new heights is to improve through the training of the players we have. If we can’t get to a certain level, then we need to find that in the transfer market.
“In my position, you are keen to sign the best players you can – but those players come at a premium. Sven Botman wasn’t cheap, Alex Isak wasn’t cheap. Those are players who can influence the starting XI. Do we have the finances for that? I do not know. That might impact our options. It is a considerable outlay the club have to find and with FFP, I’m not sure that’s available to us. You have to work within the guidelines of the club.”
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