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Man Utd’s Dutch defensive ‘target’ now expected at Newcastle

| 07.07.2014

Reports coming out of Italy that Holland right-back Daryl Janmaat is close to completing a move to Newcastle will disappoint Manchester United fans, who expected the Feyenoord man to bolster Old Trafford’s defensive ranks this summer, although their new boss may know better.

Janmaat played every minute of the Oranje’s three Group B wins, but hasn’t seen a minute of action so far in the knockout stages, with Paul Verhaegh and then Dirk Kuyt preferred ahead of him by Louis van Gaal in the incoming Red Devils chief’s 3-5-2/3-4-3 set-up.

Rafael da Silva, who had a puzzlingly poor, injury-disrupted season under old manager David Moyes last term, is the only specialist right-back within the senior ranks at the deposed Premier League champions, although England centre-half disappointments Chris Smalling and Phil Jones – plus winger Antonio Valencia – can play there.

Fresh blood in the position was expected to be sought this summer, but with Janmaat now expected to replace Arsenal-bound Mathieu Debuchy on Tyneside, the Old Trafford faithful will be left scouring gossip columns for their next potential ‘target’.

Newcastle will reportedly pay the Rotterdam outfit £7m to acquire the 24-year-old’s services after the World Cup, with terms thought to have already been agreed between Janmaat and the north-east club.

Beleaguered Magpies boss Alan Pardew is in real danger of emerging from the summer with a great deal of credit, having already snapped up highly-rated Tenerife forward Ayoze Perez, Ajax striker Siem de Jong and midfielder Jack Colback from Sunderland, which – if nothing else – has got up their neighbours’ noses.

Janmaat has made 127 appearances during six Eredivisie campaigns with Heerenveen and Feyenoord, for whom he signed in the summer of 2012, and was also thought to be interesting Rafael Benitez’s Napoli.

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Alex Fortune