Newcastle United enter race for Sporting Lisbon defender Eric Dier - report

Newcastle United are the latest Premier League side to be linked to Sporting Lisbon's Eric Dier, following reports that the England under-21 defender could be returning home this summer.

Highly-rated defender Eric Dier has yet to play a minute of club football in England but, as one of the country’s most promising prospects, that could be about to change.

Newcastle United are reportedly interested in the services of the 20-year-old Sporting Lisbon prospect, who has appeared in 26 games for the club since making his first-time debut in November 2012.

Born in England, Dier moved to Portugal with his mother as a 10-year-old and signed professional terms with Sporting in 2010 after progressing through their youth academy, the club managing to fend off interest from the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Having spent the early part of 2011 on loan at Everton in order to aid his development, the promising youngster now appears set to make a permanent move to the Premier League after rejecting the offer of an extension on his current contract.

With his deal running until 2016, the Portuguese side are therefore reported to be entertaining offers for Dier this summer, with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and United all linked to his signature over the past month.

With Newcastle now apparently entering the race, the stumbling block for the England under-21 international, however, is his £5 million price tag, which the Magpies are said to be reluctant to match.

Having also represented England through Under-18 to Under-20 level, appearing at last summer’s Under-20 World Cup, Dier is a versatile player, capable of filling in at right-back and defensive midfield, as well as his natural centre-back spot.

A physical presence on the pitch at 6ft 2in, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about his potential and if Newcastle could somehow beat the other top English sides in the race to sign him, then it would prove a big coup for the club.

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