Newcastle United are watching the highly rated Dutch centre-back Rick van Drongelen according to media reports on Monday.

Sources close to Sparta Rotterdam have told HITC of Newcastle’s interest and that NUFC representatives watched the young Dutch star play in Sparta’s recent 2-2 draw with Heracles.

Making his debut in the Dutch League at only 16 years of age, Rick van Drongelen went on to play 15 times last season.

The defender has started all 12 of Sparta Rotterdam’s 12 Eredivisie matches this season, as well as one in the cup.

Van Drongelen is also making rapid progress in the youth levels for his country, playing at Under 17 and now a regular starter at Under 19 level, despite not turning 18 until next month (December).

Rick van Drongelen played against Newcastle goalkeeper Paul Woolston in 2015, England drawing 1-1 with the Dutch Under 17s.

The defender’s promise hasn’t gone unnoticed elsewhere, as Newcastle are said by HITC to be just one of a number of clubs watching van Drongelen’s development closely.