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Newcastle boss has ‘already identified’ defender as key target

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The Daily Telegraph are reporting that Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has “already identified” Arsenal defender Calum Chambers as a top target before having discussions with owner Mike Ashley about the club’s summer transfer budget.

The 22 year old has been on a season long loan at Middlesbrough this season where he has played mostly as a centre half. It is not known whether the Magpies are keen on him to reinforce the centre of defence, or as a right back where they are also looking to strengthen.

In the 24 appearances he has made for Boro in all competitions this season, 17 of those games have come at centre back while 7 have been at full back. A foot injury has however kept him playing a full part in Middlesbrough’s relegation battle in the Premier League, but he returned to action in the 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth two weeks ago. He then scored his first goal for the club in the 2-2 draw against Manchester City last weekend.

Arsenal are reportedly keen on offloading Chambers despite paying Southampton £16m just three years ago, but it not known what fee the Gunners would ask from Newcastle.

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