Newcastle United are reportedly interested in signing Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu during the summer transfer window. The Magpies had considered signing the Ghanaian international during the January transfer window in 2022, shortly after the club’s takeover by the Saudi investment fund PIF.
Salisu, who is 23 years old, fits the profile of the type of player Newcastle are keen to recruit and they see him as someone they could develop into a top star. The defender joined Southampton in the summer of 2020 from Real Valladolid and is set to enter the final year of his contract at St Mary’s this summer. Newcastle feel they could land him for a cut-price fee of £15 million or less.
The powerful defender is expected to leave Southampton in the summer if they suffer relegation from the Premier League. The Saints currently sit 19th in the Premier League table, but they are just one point adrift of 17th-placed Leeds. Three points separate the bottom six teams, including Leicester City, West Ham United, Everton and Bournemouth.
Despite a poor start to the 2022-23 campaign, Southampton have started to veer back on track in recent weeks. Following the dismissal of Nathan Jones, former coaching assistant Ruben Selles took over as manager. In his first game, the Saints claimed a 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and they won by the same scoreline against Leicester on Saturday night.
Southampton are also at risk of losing young star Romeo Lavia, who signed from Manchester City last summer. The 19-year-old has been linked with a move to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Newcastle United’s interest in Salisu comes as no surprise, given their need for defensive reinforcements. The Magpies have conceded 38 goals in 24 Premier League games this season, which is the second-worst defensive record in the league. Salisu’s physicality and aerial ability would be a welcome addition to Steve Bruce’s side.
Salisu has made 40 appearances for Southampton since joining the club in 2020, scoring one goal. He has also represented Ghana at international level, earning six caps since making his debut in 2019.
If Newcastle were to sign Salisu, it would be a significant coup for the club. The Magpies have struggled to attract top talent in recent years, with many players put off by the club’s lack of ambition under owner Mike Ashley. However, the takeover by PIF has changed the landscape and Newcastle are now able to compete with the top clubs in the league for players.
It remains to be seen whether Southampton will be willing to sell Salisu for a cut-price fee, but if they are relegated from the Premier League, they may have no choice but to cash in on their prized asset. For Newcastle, signing Salisu would be a step in the right direction as they look to establish themselves as a top-half Premier League side.