Newcastle track Dutch defender van Drongelen

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez

HITC Sport understands Newcastle target Dutch defender.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conferenceNewcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

Newcastle United are tracking highly-rated Dutch defender Rick van Drongelen, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club.

Van Drongelen is highly-regarded in Holland after breaking into the Sparta Rotterdam side last season at the age of 16.

The talented centre-back made 15 appearances last season for Sparta Rotterdam last term and he has been an ever-present in the Eredivisie so far this term starting all 12 games for Sparta.

Van Drongelen has also caught the eye on the international scene after representing his county at Under-17 and Under-19 level and he is tipped for a big future in the game.

The teenager's progress and potential has not gone unnoticed among clubs across Europe and Newcastle are actively keeping tabs on van Drongelen.

Sources close to the club have HITC Sport that Newcastle scouts watched van Drongelen in the 2-2 draw with Heracles last week.

Sparta are aware of the growing interest in van Drongelen and they are bracing themselves for interest in the defender when the transfer window reopens in January.

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is busy planning for the future at St James’ Park and he sees van Drongelen as someone who could become a future star for the club.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch