Newcastle United are set to make a January transfer window move for SPAL defender Francesco Vicari, according to a reports.
Sport Mediaset in Italy (via Sky Sports) claim that Rafa Benitez is keen on a move for the 24-year-old former Italy Under-21 international, although there is no talk of how much he might cost.
Benitez's side are struggling to find form in the Premier League this season, losing five of their first seven games and the Spanish boss is likely to seek solutions come winter, if he is afforded transfer funds from the Magpies' notoriously stringent hierarchy.
With less than a year remaining on his own contract, Benitez is reportedly set for crunch talks with his superiors about extending his deal. Additional transfer funds is believed to be a topic on the agenda as the former Liverpool boss seeks assurances before committing himself to St. James' Park beyond 2018/19.
Vicari, a former Italy Under-21 International, is untested outside of his country, where he has played for his boyhood club Novara Calcio in Italian football's third tier before joining current club SPAL, for whom he has made 40 appearances in Serie A.
The report of Newcastle's interest in Vicari comes amidst claims the Magpies turned down a swoop for Harry Maguire last year, following Hull City's relegation, with the club's scouts apparently insisting the England international wasn't good enough.