Date: 21st January 2009 at 7:59am
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Finland U21 starlet Jukka Raitala is the subject of a transfer melee with Italian and Dutch clubs expressing an interest in signing him.

The 20-year-old HJK Helsinki defender has been on trial at Newcastle United for much of the week, and Joe Kinnear is said to be interested in signing him.

However, with interest growing, and the lethargic way Newcastle are handling their transfers of late, Raitala may be forced to reconsider his options, and move to one of the interested clubs if an offer from the Magpies does not arrive soon.

The HJK Helsinki man played in a friendly match on Tuesday and was impressive, according to club sources.

The price quoted for the player is £600,000, but an agreement may be reached for around £450,000.

Raitala’s preferred position is left-back, but he is capable of playing all across the backline.

West Bromwich Albion had tried to sign the highly-rated Finn, but their overtures were rejected by the 20-year-old who preferred the Magpies over The Baggies.

Udinese and Ajax are said to be keen on making a move for Raitala if his proposed move to St. James’ Park falls through.