Howe’s ‘top target’ angers club board as Newcastle learn transfer stance after ‘challenge’ admission

Jason Soutar
Liverpool transfer target Dominik Szoboszlai
Dominik Szoboszlai looks dejected after missing a chance.

Dominik Szoboszlai reportedly wants to leave RB Leipzig for Newcastle United in the summer transfer window.

The 22-year-old Hungarian international has been flirting with a move to St James’ Park over the last month.

Speaking to Cimlap, Szoboszlai recently said he would be open to a new challenge amidst reported interest from the Magpies.

He said: “If there is interest, I will consider it, not because I don’t have a good time in Leipzig, but because I have always been interested in challenges.

“On one side of the scale is a good Leipzig, with a coach who trusts me and teammates who accept me and also believe in me. No footballer can wish for more than that. This is quite an extra situation.

“At the same time, on the other side, there is the question, if I can now take a step towards Europe’s top five or six clubs, should I say no to the challenge? I’ve never been that type!

“I am in a very good position, as I can play in a fantastic club. However, I don’t want 15 years from now to look back on my career as if I didn’t get the most out of it.”

With the player clearly open to a summer transfer, Sky Sports Germany correspondent Florian Plettenberg has stated that he is a ‘top target’ for Newcastle.

Writing on Twitter, Plettenberg confirmed reports that Szoboszlai has a release clause worth ‘around €70million’ (£60.2m), though there is a possibility the transfer fee can be negotiated.

The German journalist adds that the Leipzig hierarchy are ‘not happy’ with the player’s recent comments.

In a boost to the Geordies, Szoboszlai is ‘very open’ to a summer move ‘as he’s aware of the concrete interest from Newcastle’.

This is not the first time in 2023 that a player has openly pushed for a move to the north east.

In January, Anthony Gordon refused to train while at Everton before securing a £45m transfer to St James’ Park.

Leipzig are currently preparing to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the final of the DFB-Pokal, which takes place on Saturday evening.

Szoboszlai has played 45 times across all competitions this season, scoring nine and assisting 13 goals.

The Hungarian can play in multiple positions. He is effective on either wing or through the middle as a No. 10.

A similar player who has also been linked with a move to Newcastle is James Maddison, who is expected to leave Leicester City in the summer following their relegation to the Championship.

Tottenham are also reportedly keen and the Foxes are believed to have set an asking price in the region of £40m.

Maddison scored 13 and provided nine assists in the Premier League this season but could not keep Leicester in the top flight.

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