NEWCASTLE UNITED have been told they face enormous competition from some of European football’s big guns if they want to land a leading midfield target this summer.

Stefano Sensi, who has been on the Magpies’ radar for more than a year, has been watched numerous times by the Tyneside club’s scouts and is attracting interest from Italy, Spain and England.

The Magpies are considering options in the middle of the pitch ahead of a close-season when there is expected to be change.

Jonjo Shelvey could be sold, amid consistent talk that West Ham United are keen on a £20m deal. Isaac Hayden, despite being heavily involved in the first team picture since Christmas, could also depart given he has requested to leave St James’ Park for personal reasons in each of the last two windows.

Sensi is one of those Newcastle are considering - along with other long term midfield targets like Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy and Fulham’s Tom Cairney – to make a bid for this summer.

But Newcastle have been informed there is other interest in the 23-year-old, who has impressed while playing for Sassuolo, and that could drive up a price that had initially stood at £21.4m.

Italian media has reported that Sensi is wanted by AC Milan, Inter Milan and Barcelona, among others, so Newcastle will have to pull out all of the stops if they are to secure his services.

Determining the future of Shelvey will play a huge part in who comes in, with Rafa Benitez known to want money to re-invest in the squad to improve if he is to commit to a new contract.

Newcastle are seven points clear of the relegation zone and hope to increase that gap on Monday when they head to Arsenal, with one eye on finishing in the top ten too.

Miguel Almiron will be available for Benitez despite facing a one-game suspension for seeing red for Paraguay. Almiron, the club’s record buy, was sent off seven minutes after entering the fray against Mexico in a 4-2 friendly defeat for a tackle on Jose Juan Vazquez. He had also assisted a goal.