Alex Neil targeting Newcastle United defender as first Stoke City signing

Neil was confirmed as Stoke City manager yesterday - and he’s already looking for ways to strengthen his new squad.

Neil replaced former Magpies man Michael O’Neil at the Bet365 Stadium after his Sunderland side defeated the Potters during his last game in charge of the Black Cats.

And after watching his new side in action against Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, Neil is beginning to shape his squad during the final days of the summer transfer window.

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Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton FC at St. James Park on December 08, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton FC at St. James Park on December 08, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton FC at St. James Park on December 08, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

One new face that could be on his way to Stoke is Newcastle United defender Federico Fernandez.

According to Alan Nixon, Fernandez would be allowed to leave St James’s Park this summer and could be heading to the Potters on a season-long loan deal.

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The Argentine defender hasn’t featured for Newcastle since December and has played just twice since Eddie Howe took charge of the club almost ten months ago.

Fernandez was brought to Tyneside as a deadline day signing under Rafa Benitez back in 2018 after a mini-injury ‘crisis’ at the back saw Newcastle needing reinforcements.

He played regularly under Benitez and his successor Steve Bruce but multiple injuries last campaign meant first-team football was hard to come by for the 33-year-old.

Fernandez is entering his last year at Newcastle and could be allowed to join former teammate Dwight Gayle at Stoke if the Potters firm up their reported interest in the defender.

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Freddie Woodman, Isaac Hayden, Jeff Hendrick and Ciaran Clark have all also moved from Newcastle to the Championship this summer, joining Preston North End, Norwich City, Reading and Sheffield United respectively.