Newcastle weigh up Philipp Max transfer as Liverpool and Barcelona look at Bundesliga ace


NEWCASTLE are looking at Augsburg left-back Philipp Max, according to reports.

Steve Bruce is keen to add to his squad following the club-record £36million addition of Joelinton from Hoffenheim on Tuesday.

The Magpies have lost several key players from last season, including Ayoze Perez and the on-loan Salomon Rondon who has since moved to China.

And Chronicle Live claim that Newcastle could make up to five more signings as Bruce looks to shape the Tyneside club’s squad in his image, though the transfer window shuts in two weeks on August 8.

Bruce is believed to want two strikers, a winger and a left-back and among his potential targets in defence is Augbsurg’s Max.

The report claims that the German has been pushed towards Newcastle, with his agents seemingly looking to secure him a move.

The pacy attack-minded 25-year-old has been linked with Barcelona and Liverpool in recent weeks.

Spanish outlet Sport claim that the two European giants are considering moves for Max, who contributed four goals and seven assists across all competitions last term and can also play further forward.

The former Bayern Munich trainee, who has not made an appearance for the German national team but represented his country at the 2016 Olympics and won a silver medal, is reportedly valued at £18million.

And Chronicle Live say that Newcastle may opt not to pursue a deal for Max – who is under contract in Bavaria until 2022 – as a result of that price tag.

Bruce already has a first-team left-back at his disposal in Newcastle-born Wales international Paul Dummett.

Achraf Lazaar is another who can play in the position although Sheffield Wednesday are keen to resign the Moroccan on loan after his spell at Hillsborough in the second half of last season.

Midfielder Matt Ritchie was also turned into a left-wing back under Rafa Benitez last term.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are in need of a deputy left-back after Alberto Moreno left Anfield on a free transfer earlier this summer.

That leaves no natural number two to Andy Robertson in the position although James Milner and Joe Gomez can both fill in there.

Max would be able to cover for Robertson’s attacking threat, having provided 17 assists across his last two campaigns with Augsburg.

Liverpool’s full-backs combined for 29 assists across all competitions last term with Robertson supplying 13 and right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold chipping in with 16.

But Barcelona have also been mooted as an alternative potential destination with Ernesto Valverde having been short in the position since selling Lucas Digne a year ago to Everton.

But Marc Cucurella’s recent Nou Camp return, rejoining Barca from Eibar in a (£3.5m) €4m deal after spending last season on loan at the Basque club, who used up a clause to make the deal permanent only to see Barca immediately resign the player at twice the price.

Cucurella could therefore provide competition for Jordi Alba in the position and allow Newcastle and Liverpool to move for Max.


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