Newcastle United reportedly want to sign Mason Holgate from Premier League rivals Everton – Carlo Ancelotti’s loss would be Steve Bruce’s gain.

Alan Shearer admits he is a big fan of Mason Holgate as reports link the Everton defender with a move to Newcastle United, speaking to Match of the Day (18 January, 10.20pm).

Despite boasting a host of proven Premier League centre-backs, including Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar, speculation suggests that The Magpies could add yet another impressive defensive talent to their ranks during the January transfer window.

According to The Sun, Newcastle are battling Sheffield United and Bournemouth to secure the signature of the £14 million-rated Holgate.

The 23-year-old was farmed out on loan to West Brom just 12 months ago but he is one of Everton’s form players right now, producing arguably the best Premier League performance of his career during Saturday’s 1-1 draw away at West Ham.

And Newcastle legend Shearer was left blown away by the performance of a centre-back who played with visible confidence at the London Stadium while assisting Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s equaliser.

“I watched him at Newcastle over the Christmas period, he’s maturing and getting better all the time,” the Premier League’s all-time record goalscorer said.

“Don’t forget he was out on loan for the second half of last season and he’s getting a consistent run in the team now.

“I like the confidence to pass it through the middle of the park with pace, his decision making I think is excellent. He’s not afraid to play and have belief in his own ability. He was really impressive, quick strong and everything you want in a performance from one of your defenders.”

The chances of Everton selling Holgate to a direct Premier League rival looks slim right now, however. The Toffees’ lack of defensive cover is well documented with the England U21 international one of just three senior centre-backs at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal.

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