NEWCASTLE UNITED have discussed a loan move for Juventus centre-half Daniele Rugani as Steve Bruce attempts to recruit another defender before the transfer window closes on Monday.

The Magpies are set to confirm the signing of Rodrigo Vilca in the next 48 hours, with the Peruvian youngster, who has initially been earmarked for a place in the club’s Under-23s squad, having made his final appearance for Deportivo Municipal earlier this week.

However, while Vilca is regarded as a long-term prospect, Bruce is hoping to sign an experienced defender to strengthen his first-team squad ahead of Mondays’ transfer deadline.

Earlier in the window, it had looked like Arsenal centre-half Rob Holding would be heading to Tyneside, but a series of defensive injuries forced Gunners boss Mikel Arteta into a rethink. Holding has started all three of Arsenal’s league games, and will not be leaving the Emirates this month.

That has forced Bruce to look elsewhere, and the Magpies’ recruitment team have held discussions over a possible move for Rugani.

A 26-year-old centre-half, Rugani joined Juventus’ youth ranks from Empoli as a teenager, and has spent his entire career with the Italian champions, save for a loan spell back at Empoli when he was initially breaking into the senior ranks.

He has not been involved in any of Juventus’ first-team matches this season though, with his last senior involvement having come in a 3-1 home defeat to Roma at the start of August.

Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo has indicated Rugani does not form part of his plans, and Newcastle are hoping to agree a season-long loan deal with a clause for a possible permanent transfer next summer.

Ideally, Juventus would prefer to sell Rugani now, but while a number of clubs have expressed an interest in the Italian, none have tabled an offer for his services at this stage.

Newcastle officials are hoping to hold further talks before the weekend, although there is an expectation that additional players could be offered to them in the final couple of days of the window.

Vilca’s transfer has been agreed, with the 21-year-old set to join Newcastle for an initial fee of around £250,000.