Five Evan Ndicka alternatives Newcastle can target if they miss out on Eintracht Frankfurt defender

Newcastle United are keen on signing Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan Ndicka this summer with the Magpies continuing to run the rule over the Frenchman. Reports in Germany have linked Newcastle with Ndicka and sources close to his representatives have stated there is interest from United in the French Under-21 international centre-back.

Newcastle are keen on strengthening across all areas this summer but with Dan Burn, Fabian Schar and Jamaal Lascelles all likely to be here next season, centre back is a position Eddie Howe has well stocked. Ndicka would cost a fee in the region of £23million and has just one year left on his contract with Eintracht Frankfurt but has been linked with both Arsenal and Liverpool in recent years, with both regularly scouting the talented star.

So with competition potentially set to be high, here is a look at five possible alternatives from the Player Replacement Shortlist Generator on macro-football.

READ MORE: Liverpool and Man City show how far Newcastle United have to go – but the journey has started

Chris Richards – Bayern Munich (Hoffenheim)

American centre back Chris Richards joined Hoffenheim for a second consecutive loan spell in the summer where he has been able to obtain some valuable senior experience. Richards has made 20 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit in a season where he has struggled with injuries.

Like Ndicka, Richards would provide Newcastle with a more youthful option in their crop of centre backs, with Burn, Schar and Lascelles all now seasoned pros.

Caglar Soyuncu – Leicester City

A name perhaps more familiar to Newcastle fans is Leicester City centre back Caglar Soyuncu, who hasn’t enjoyed the best of seasons at the Foxes. Soyuncu has made 28 appearances in the Premier League this season but has been part of a Leicester side that have struggled defensively in comparison to years gone by.

Brendan Rodgers’ side could undergo a mini rebuild this summer and with just 12 months left to run on his current deal, Soyuncu could be someone they decide to let go.

Fernando Calero – Espanyol

A surprising name to make the list given his lack of game time this season is Espanyol centre back Fernando Calero. Calero has made just 11 La Liga starts over the course of the campaign, although eight of those have come in the last eight matches, suggesting his performance levels have improved since March.

At 26, though, and with regular top-flight football not yet under his belt – this is probably someone Newcastle won’t consider too strongly.

Liam Cooper – Leeds United

Another Premier League defender on the shortlist is Leeds United captain Liam Cooper. Cooper has missed much of the season due to injury but his importance to the side has been underlined by the Whites’ appalling defensive record without him.

In the 18 matches he has started this campaign, Leeds average 1.3 goals against – which is just short of two goals less than when he is not in the team. At 30, though, Newcastle may look towards a more youthful centre back given the experience they currently have.

Malang Sarr – Chelsea

Very much a bit part player at Chelsea, Malang Sarr has made just six Premier League appearances so far this season. Sarr has looked solid in the majority of his outings, although his display in the recent 4-2 defeat to Arsenal raised some cause for concern.

Like Ndicka, Sarr can play at both centre back and left back, meaning he would add some versatility to the squad.

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