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Newcastle monitoring defender Daniele Rugani

Football Transfer Centre

Newcastle's chief scout Graham Carr is reportedly monitoring the progress of Italian defender Daniele Rugani. The Empoli and Italy under-21 has attracted the interest of several European sides but Premier League team Newcastle are reportedly winning the race for his signature.

It is understood that Newcastle are hopeful the influence of fellow young Italian Davide Santon will persuade the defender to move to St. James' Park.

The player spent last season on loan at Juventus and the Old Lady had the first option to sign the centre back on a permanent deal, but decided against a transfer and he later returned to his parent club Empoli. The cash strapped Italian side are looking to sell Rugani in the January transfer window and Alan Pardew's side are prepared to spend up to 2 million Euros to secure his signature.

It is understood that several other teams in Italy - including Fiorentina and Sampdoria - are all in the race to sign the defender.