Newcastle are in discussions with an Arsenal target whose manager has admitted he is powerless to prevent a January exit, per a report.
The ultra-competitive nature of the top end of the Premier League has sparked a flurry of January activity already. Newcastle have wasted little time turning the ‘big six’ into a ‘big seven’, and their top four rivals are feeling the heat.
Liverpool have already snapped up Cody Gakpo, while Chelsea recently confirmed their £35m addition of Benoit Badiashile.
Man Utd are expected to sign a new striker on loan, while Arsenal have lodged two bids for Ukraine stand-out, Mykhaylo Mudryk.
However, while established stars are currently dominating the headlines, many clubs are also keeping one eye on their future.
Real Valladolid’s Ivan Fresneda, 18, has quickly emerged as one of the brightest prospects Spanish football has produced in recent memory.
The right-back is already a regular starter for Valladolid having got the nod in six of their last 11 LaLiga matches. He only missed three of the other 5 outings through a hamstring injury.
Fresneda was listed as being on the radars of Arsenal, Liverpool and Leeds in mid-December. The Gunners were the club most often cited in subsequent reports, though it appears Newcastle have stolen a march.
Newcastle open talks with Spanish sensation
Sky Sports report Newcastle are in talks with Valladolid over the signing of Fresneda this month.
Magpies officials have reportedly kept a close eye on the player of late, including during Valladolid’s league clash with Real Madrid on Friday.
Fresneda is understood to fit the profile of player Newcastle are seeking to sign. He wouldn’t displace current No 1 Kieran Trippier any time soon, though it’s claimed the England international is the perfect player to learn from while Fresneda matures.
What’s more, Trippier is 32 and won’t maintain his current high standards forever. Fresneda is seemingly being lined up as his long-term successor.
From the player’s end, Fresneda – who’s been capped four times at Spain Under-19 level – is deemed open to moving to St. James’ Park. It’s also stressed he’s ‘flattered by the interest’.
Ivan Fresneda “will be sold” – Valladolid manager
Valladolid manager, Pacheta, recently confirmed a January sale is the likeliest outcome for Fresneda.
The Spanish side would love to retain their newest star, though are fully aware a player of Fresneda’s huge talent cannot be corralled for much longer.
“Fresneda will be sold,” Pacheta said on Wednesday night. “Ivan is 18-years-old and does things like someone in his thirties.
“They are not set to buy the Fresneda of today, but what he could become over four years. If I was the owner of a club, I would have no doubts.
“I can put myself in the shoes of another manager who needs a right-back, and all fingers point to Fresneda.
“If I watch the game against Real Madrid, or another game, I see a fantastic player to buy.
“And where we are inundated with statistics all over the world, Fresneda’s statistics are crazy.
“All these characteristics make me doubt we can keep him here. I would like it but I also know the needs of the club.”
Sky didn’t state at what price point a deal for Fresneda could be made. However, hints on that subject have been forthcoming in previous reports.
Fresneda’s contract at Valladolid reportedly contains a ‘growing release clause’ that increases when specific appearance targets are met.
Upon reaching the six first-team appearance mark, Fresneda’s clause has now risen to €30m (approx. £26m), per AS and Il Bianconero.
That would represent a sizeable investment for someone with such little first-team experience to his name. However, all the signs are pointing to Fresneda being a bona fide star of the near future and waiting any longer will see his valuation soar even further.
Indeed, it’s claimed his clause will rise to €45m (approx. £39m) if he makes 22 first-team appearances for Valladolid. Newcastle are seemingly intent on preventing that from happening by swooping this month.