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Newcastle transfer rumours as January window approaches

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Credit: Craig Brough via REUTERS - New owners ready to help bring in reinforcements to save NUFC from relegation...

Newcastle United have been linked with a huge number of players since the Saudi-led takeover of the club and are expected to bring major reinforcements to Tyneside in January.

With just a few days left until the transfer window opens, Eddie Howe will have a list of names he aims to bring to the club and has a reported £190million at his disposal.

The lack of quality in defensive areas is highlighted by the clubs position in the Premier League. Newcastle sit 19th, with the second-worse defensive record this campaign having shipped 42 goals in 19 games.

DEFENDERS

Trippier (£30m+) and Tarkowski (£3m+)

English defensive duo Keiran Trippier and James Tarkowski have been widely tipped with a move to St James’ Park and would be welcomed with open arms by the Geordie faithful.

The Atletico Madrid full-back is expected to be available for around $30million, while Burnley’s Tarkowski is heading into the last six months of his current contract and would cost the club in region of £3million.

Sven Botman (£25m+)

Dutch defender Sven Botman is thought to be top of Howe’s list and his ball-playing abilities would certainly suit the new managers attacking approach. He currently plays for French side Lille and has represented his country at both u21 and senior level. Botman is expected to cost the Magpies over £25million but would be a huge improvement on the current options at Howe’s disposal.

Boubacar Kamara (20m+)

Newcastle are expected to make a dramatic bid to sign Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara from under the noses of Premier League rivals, according to the Sun on Sunday. He would massively improve the side in the defensive midfield department and is deemed as one for the future, available at over £20million.

He would certainly bring a good song to sing for supporters – “Bouba Kamara, what a wonderful name…”

Other rumours in the media:

  • Newcastle are reportedly keen on signing Arsenal flop Konstantinos Mavropanos in a bid to bolster their defensive options in January (The Sun, December 15).
  • Newcastle are among the clubs looking to sign Tottenham centre-back Joe Rodon on loan during the January transfer window (Daily Telegraph, December 22)
  • Oleksandr Zinchenko is on Newcastle’s list of January targets as Eddie Howe attempts to keep them in the Premier League (Daily Mail, December 26).
  • Everton’s Lucas Digne is another who has been discussed but the Frenchman is holding out for other clubs showing interest.

MIDFIELDERS

Jesse Lingard (£20m+)

The Manchester United man is yet to feature from the start under Ralf Rangnick and is approaching the final six months on his contact.

Newcastle will have a fight on their hands to capture the 29-year-olds signature and given the success he had in his loan-spell at West Ham, they are the current favourites to sign him. Lingard is reportedly available for a fee of around £20million, unless he decides to stay at United a sign a new contract.

He certainly has the quality needed to help the Magpies survive relegation and could join the club on a 6-month loan as one of two available Premier League loans in January.

Dele Alli (£22m+)

The 25-year-old England international has been out of favour for a number of months at Tottenham Hotspur and is yet to reach the same heights of previous years under new boss Antonio Conte.

Newcastle are one of a number of clubs linked with the attacking midfielder who has shown in the past his Premier League ability. There is still time for him to rekindle his carer on tyneside and he could play a key role in Howe’s side.

He is expected to cost the Magpies approximately £22million and might improve the productivity of the side in attacking areas.

Gini Wijnaldum (loan)

The 31-year-old knows the city well, already has a good relationship with the fans and enjoyed a decent spell for the Magpies between 2015-16.

Newcastle need stability and lack quality in defensive areas. WIjnaldum would also improve the team in attacking areas and may be just what is needed to help the club change its fortunes on the pitch.

If he moves, Wijnaldum is expected to join a Premier League side for the remainder of the season and Newcastle United may be the right fit for the veteran midfielder.

Aaron Ramsey (£10m+)

After lengthy spells on the sidelines he is yet to form a friendly relationship with Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri he is thought to want a move away from Turin and back to the Premier League.

His £400,000k a-week salary could be make or break for some clubs and puts Newcastle at the top of the list to sign him following the Saudi-led takeover of the club.

His experience of the English game and versatility in the midfield could help change the fortunes of Newcastle this season. Ramsey is expected to be available for around £10m but his high-wage might put a lot of clubs off chasing his signature.

Other rumours in the media:

  • Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has emerged as a possible January target for Newcastle (The Sun, December 10).
  • Brest midfielder Romain Faivre believes he would cost Newcastle around £15m should they turn their interest in him into an actual offer (Daily Express, December 4).
  • Donny Van de Beek, Dean Henderson and Jesse Lingard are on Eddie Howe’s radar in January as Newcastle look to strengthen for the second half of the season (Daily Mirror, November 12).
  • Newcastle and Burnley are set to compete with Leeds for the signature of Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley (The Sun, November 23).
  • James Ward-Prowse – Southampton’s dead-ball maestro who has always felt destined for a big move one day – could a role as the linchpin of the Toon Army’s first iteration of newly-moneyed galacticos tempt him into leaving his boyhood club?

ATTACKERS

Odion Ighalo (£10m+)

Odion Ighalo is one of a number of strikers Newcastle United are looking at ahead of the January transfer window. Ighalo, who has had previous spells in the Premier League with Watford and Manchester United, is currently playing for Al Shabab in Saudi Arabia and has the experience to help Newcastle at the top end of the pitch.

Sky Sports News has been told he would seriously consider a move if contact is made. Ighalo scored 40 goals in 100 appearances for Watford between 2014 and 2017 and netted five times in 23 games for United during his year-long spell at the club.

He is expected to be available for a fee in the region of £10million.

Gabriel Barbosa (loan/ £17m if Toon survive)

Newcastle are interested in a loan for Brazil international forward Gabriel Barbosa after Benfica refused to sell Darwin Nunez in January.Toon boss Eddie Howe is desperate for more firepower to boost the Magpies’ Premier League survival hopes.

According to the Mirror Football, Flamengo are “open to a six-month loan in January if it includes a £17million deal to make it permanent” should Newcastle retain their Premier League status.

Moussa Dembele (£30m+)

The 25-year-old had a spell on loan at Atletico Madrid last season after they agreed a £1.2million loan fee with option for a £30m transfer.

The French striker had a successful spell at Celtic a few years ago and has a decent goalscoring record, netting 36 times in 82 appearances for French side Lyon.

He started the French season well with four goals in five games suffered a thigh injury then a fractured right fibula. He has returned to Lyon’s side recently but the French club are open to selling if they receive a suitable offer.

Other rumours in the media:

  • Newcastle are willing to pay a hefty loan fee of around £6m to tempt Manchester United striker Anthony Martial to St James’ Park, and are also eyeing ex-Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko (Sun on Sunday, December 18).
  • Newcastle have reportedly tabled a nine-figure bid for Arsenal target and Serie A top scorer Dusan Vlahovic (Daily Star on Sunday, December 18); Newcastle are hoping to flex their transfer muscles against the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United and beat them to the signing of the Fiorentina striker in a deal that could top £100m (Daily Express, December 17);
  • Almeria will not budge from their £60m price tag for striker Umar Sadiq, one of dozens of players to be linked with a January move to Newcastle (Daily Express, November 24).
  • Newcastle’s hopes of signing Divock Origi on loan from Liverpool are set to be dashed by Jurgen Klopp (Daily Mail, November 24).

Thoughts? What areas do Newcastle need to improve? Who would be your first signing? Can Howe’s reinforcements help keep NUFC in the Premier League?

Join in the conversation and have your say…

 

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Eddie Howe’s pre-season: Opposition, Venues and more.

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Pre-season is vital when it comes to preparing for a new season for all football clubs around the world. It is a time where you can test different tactics, experiment with young and new players and overall get a sense of where your squad is at before the start of the new season.

For Newcastle, they have plenty of games to test the waters and give new signings like Nick Pope and Sven Botman time to get up to scratch before the start of the new Premier League season.

First, they play Gateshead in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Newcastle United Training Centre on Saturday, 9th July. Gateshead are managed by former Magpies defender Mike Williamson and their side have just been promoted to the National League after winning the National League North.

Eddie Howe’s side will then travel to Austria for a week-long training camp where they will play two games.

The first opposition is TSV 1860 Munich who currently play in the third tier of German football, 3. Liga. The match will take place on Friday, 15th July and will be played at the SaalfeldenArena Burgerau, kick-off is set for 6 pm local time. The former champions of Germany have had success in the past when they finished as runners-up in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1964/65 season. The Toon met with this side in the UEFA Intertoto Cup back in 2001, Newcastle won 6-3 on aggregate across the two legs. One of Munich’s best players, Marcel Bar, scored 21 goals in 37 appearances last season.

Then, Newcastle play Mainz on Monday, 18th July in what will be their third pre-season fixture. The match will be played at the 4,500-capacity Kufstein Arena and will kick-off at 5 pm local time. Mainz, currently managed by Bo Svensson, finished 8th in the Bundesliga last season. The last time the two sides met was in a pre-season game back in the summer of 2017, Mainz came out on top winning 2-1. Some of their best players include Jonathan Burkardt who managed to bag himself 11 goals and 3 assists last season as well as Moussa Niakhate who scored 8 goals and assisted 5 times.

The Toon then have eight days to prepare for their next pre-season fixture as they travel to Portugal to play Benfica at the Estadio da Luiz for the Eusebio Cup. The match will take place on Tuesday, 26th July and will kick-off at 8 pm local time. Benfica finished third in the Portugal Liga Nos last season. It’s been 9 years since the sides last met in the Europa League quarter-finals when Papiss Cisse’s goal in the second leg wasn’t enough and the Magpies exited the competition losing 4-2 on aggregate. Benfica were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals by Liverpool last season and some of their best players include Rafa Silva who came out with 23 goal contributions last season and Alex Grimaldo who scored 5 and assisted 5 from left-back last season.

To finish pre-season the Toon then face a double-header at St James’ Park. The first game played on Friday, 29th July will be against Atalanta. It is expected that Howe will split his first-team squad across the two fixtures and play two completely different teams. Atalanta finished 8th in Serie A last season and exited the Europa League quarter-finals following a 3-1 aggregate defeat to RB Leipzig. Mario Pasalic is one of their best players and had a very successful 2021/22 season which saw him earn 20 goal contributions from centre midfield in the league. The match will kick-off at 7:45 pm in St James’ Park

Newcastle will then face Spanish side Athletic Bilbao, just a week before the first game of the Premier League season against Nottingham Forest to finish their pre-season. Bilbao finished 8th in La Liga last season and were close to cup success, following a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final. Inaki Williams who hasn’t missed a single game for the Spanish side in over six years is a threat up-front and captain Iker Muniain will also be a danger for the Toon following last season where he managed 10 assists and 4 goals.

Ticket information for these games are to be confirmed soon.

So what do you think of the pre-season fixtures and how many wins will Eddie Howe’s side manage in what promises to be an exciting season ahead.

Join the conversation on our Facebook page …

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Transfer update: NUFC looking at Bayern and Leeds forwards and defensive departures

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Image: @premierleague via Twitter

After confirming the signing of defender Sven Botman, and long-term target Hugo Ekitike off the table, Newcastle are set to look elsewhere in the transfer market.

The signing of Reims forward Hugo Ekitke is now in doubt. Reports are that the players’ agent, Karl Mwalako Buchmann, has brought discussions to a standstill. Newcastle were close to completing a move for the young winger in January and again this summer. 

With these two long running sagas appearing over, Eddie Howe and Dan Ashworth will work on other transfers.

Securing Matt Targett, Nick Pope and Sven Botman marks a positive transfer window already for the Magpies, but their search for attacking reinforcements will continue.

According to The Chronicle, Eddie Howe wants a winger and a striker to compete with Callum Wilson next season.

One attacker Newcastle have been linked with is Leeds’ Jack Harrison. The club are reported to have enquired about Harrison. The talented 25-year old would seem a good fit in the Newcastle squad, and fit with the attractive stlye of football Eddie Howe has his side playing. 

Per the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, Newcastle are keen on Harrison but have a limited budget remaining.

With Leeds forward Raphinha looking set to leave Elland Road for Chelsea, it could take a lot for Newcastle to persuade Leeds to depart with another winger. 

Reports from Belgium have suggested Newcastle are competing to sign striker Joshua Zirkzee from Bayern Munich. The Dutchman spent last season on a successful loan spell at Anderlecht. The 21-year old has also drawn interest from Ajax.

Zirkzee scored 16 and made 9 assists in 38 appearances for the Belgian side during his loan spell last season.

In terms of departures, the arrival of Sven Botman could make way for Jamaal Lascelles to leave. The captain has long been linked with a return to Nottingham Forest. 

Lascelles’ inclusion in marketing for Newcastle’s new third kit has been seen as a sign that the club are unwilling to part with the player. As an experienced player he could provide continuity in Newcastle’s new-look back four. It remains to be seen whether he would be content to play second fiddle to players like Botman, or move in search of more game time.

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Newcastle Complete Third Summer Signing

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Newcastle sign Botman
Image: @svenbotman_ via Instagram

Dutch centre-back Sven Botman has become Newcastle’s third summer signing, arriving from French side Lille for a fee in the region of £35,000,000.

The 22-year-old was one of Eddie Howe’s main targets this summer as he looks to bolster his defensive options. The Dutchman has penned a contract keeping him at Newcastle until 2027.

The Magpies’ moved for Botman in the January window but a deal failed to materialise after The Toon had two bids turned down by Lille. 

The defender played 32 games in all competitions last season with Lille, including 5 appearances in the Champions League.

Botman has yet to make an appearance for Hollands senior side but has progressed from the U15s to now being with the U21s side.

The Toon have beaten Italian giants AC Milan to Botman’s signature as they failed to match Newcastle’s £35,000,000 offer.

Botman joined Lille from Ajax in 2020 for €9,200,000 and has gone on to play 79 times for the French side.

The Dutch centre-back is the third player to arrive at St James’ Park following left-back Matt Target and goalkeeper Nick Pope after joining from Aston Villa and Burnley respectively.

What will he bring?

The left-sided centre-back is very comfortable in possession, with a pass completion rate of 88% in Ligue 1 last season. Botman also holds a great aerial presence with him being 6ft 5in, making him a great threat from set-pieces and solid in areal duals.

The Dutchman has also been compared by scouts to fellow countryman Virgil van Dijk and believe he can be developed into one of Europe’s best centre-backs.

Botman played a huge role in Lille’s shock title win in Ligue 1 in the 20/21 season as he played 37 times out of a possible 38 and they conceded 23 goals fewer than the season prior. 

His performances attracted interest from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham.

How will he fit in?

You would imagine with the size of the fee that Botman will be one of the first names on the team sheet come the start of the season.

Botman is predominantly a left-footer but is comfortable on his right side meaning he could occupy the right-sided centre-back spot should the left side be taken by Dan Burn.

Eddie Howe has mainly played a back four during his time at St James’ Park meaning Botman’s arrival may disrupt the centre-back pairing of Burn and Schar that played a pivotal part in Toon’s revival post-January.

Burn has been a mainstay in The Magpies’ defence with him playing 16 times since his arrival from Brighton in January so you would expect Botman to take the right centre-back spot.

However, Fabian Schar should not be overlooked as he signed a new two-year contract in April which shows that Eddie Howe expects the Swiss international to be involved next season. Schar also played in 23 of the 27 games that Howe was in charge of last season displaying his trust in the defender.

With Howe adding Botman to the ranks, skipper Lascelles could leave Newcastle this summer with his old side and Premier League new boys Nottingham Forest keen to have him back at the City Ground.

Have your say

Are you happy with the signing of Sven Botman?

Will he be a nailed-on starter?

Whose place will he take?

Have your say on our Facebook page!

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