Newcastle United are reportedly eyeing a move for Celta Vigo defender, Javi Galan, ahead of the January transfer window.
What’s the word?
According to reports in Spain, via Football Espana, the Magpies are believed to be targeting the 27-year-old at present, with the full-back said to have a release clause of around €18m (£15m) in his current contract.
The former Huesca man – who joined his current side in 2021 – was previously heavily linked with a move to Barcelona over the summer, albeit with the Catalan outfit ultimately bringing in Marcos Alonso from Chelsea instead.
As for the St James’ Park outfit, Eddie Howe and co were seemingly eyeing a new left-back recruit in the recent window – despite the permanent capture of loanee Matt Targett – with the likes of Borna Sosa and Alejandro Grimaldo having been mooted as possible options.
Imagine him and Botman
It would appear that the northeast side are keen to strengthen on the left of the defence, with Galan no doubt a quality option as a result of his strength at both ends of the pitch, notably providing a real asset with his ball-playing prowess.
That skill in possession has been evidenced by the fact that the 5 foot 8 menace notably ranks in the top 1% for dribbles completed among those in his position in Europe, with that a far greater record than that of the aforementioned Targett (bottom 23%) and teammate Dan Burn (bottom 5%).
Such relentless quality on the ball also saw the diminutive gem finish second to only Lionel Messi back in the 2020/21 campaign in Spain with regards to completed take-ons, showcasing his ability to initiate attacks from deep.
The £25k-per-week ace – who has three goal involvements to his name this season – does not shirk his defensive responsibilities, however, as he also ranks in the top 9% for tackles made, a record again superior to that of both Burn (bottom 31%) and Targett (top 12%).
That tireless, ball-winning knack was evident in his side’s most recent La Liga outing against Rayo Vallecano, with the one-time Cordoba man – who has been dubbed “so good” by journalist Deji Faremi – winning a ridiculous 18 of his 21 ground duels in that stalemate, as well as winning both of his aerial duels.
The all-round asset could well prove to be a perfect partner to current Newcastle star Sven Botman on the left of the defence, with the “special” Dutchman – as described by pundit Jamie Redknapp – having shone at St James’ Park to date.
The towering centre-back – who has been dubbed a “machine” by talkSPORT pundit Steve Harmison – has been a revelation since his £35m arrival from Lille in the summer, forming part of a backline that has shipped just 11 league goals so far this term.
Having the left-footed colossus alongside Galan in the defensive unit could well prove to be a truly impenetrable partnership as far as Howe and co are concerned, with the Magpies needing to wrap up what could prove to be a bargain capture of the Celta star.