According to The Telegraph, Newcastle United have won the race to sign defender Matthew Bondswell and have fended off interest from Premier League rivals in doing so.
What’s the story?
The 18-year-old full-back is a product of the Nottingham Forest youth academy but has spent the last two-and-a-half years on the books of Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.
It is understood that Bondswell has been highly rated by a number of clubs for some time, with a number of Premier League clubs having retained an interest in the youngster ever since he departed from Forest’s academy.
Although Leipzig eventually won the race for Bondswell’s signature, Bondswell failed to break into the first team during his time in Germany having played for the under-17s and under-19s in Leipzig.
He also had a spell out on loan with Dutch side FC Dordecht in the Dutch second division.
Chelsea, Leeds United and West Ham are named as some of the principal suitors for the prospect’s signature, but Steve Bruce’s Magpies have triumphed over their fellow league rivals in capturing Bondswell’s coveted signature.
With him, Bondswell brings a wealth of experience at international youth levels. He has played for both the England under-17s and under-18s and turns 19 in April.
He is reportedly set to initially link up with Newcastle’s under-23s before any first-team considerations are made.
Capturing the signature of an experienced and well-travelled youth international is rarely a bad investment.
Given the interest in his signature and his portfolio of different playing environments before his 19th birthday, Bondswell could mature into a shrewd acquisition that could challenge the likes of Emil Krafth and Jamal Lewis in the long run.