Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe has reportedly reignited his interest in signing Ben Godfrey from Everton in the summer transfer window.
The Sunday Mirror claims that the Magpies looked at landing Godfrey in January. However, at that time, they were given short shrift – as new boss Frank Lampard did not want to lose any of his top players.
The defender went to suffer a hamstring injury in Lampard’s first game in charge in early February. He has, however, returned for the last two games – the loss to Wolves and the huge midweek win over Newcastle.
But Howe remains keen on the 24-year-old central, who figures highly on the Toon’s wanted list.
The centre-back cost Everton £25million when they signed him from Norwich in 2020. He currently earns £68,000 per week.
However, cash-rich Newcastle could up that wage significantly if the player decided he fancied the switch.
Both Everton and Newcastle are battling to avoid the drop, although the latter are in a stronger position and could swoop if the unthinkable was to happen to Lampard’s men.
Even if the Toffees do survive, the report adds that Godfrey could still be tempted to move to a Newcastle team who added plenty of quality to their squad in January.
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The St James’ Park outfit have the richest owners in football in Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). To that end, they expected to splash the cash again in the summer and bolster Howe’s squad even further.
Newcastle battling West Ham for Ligue 1 attacker
Meanwhile, West Ham are in a bargain £17million battle with Newcastle for versatile Ligue 1 attacker Ludovic Blas, a report has claimed.
Both Premier League clubs are in the market for reinforcements up top this summer as they look to bankroll their respective lofty ambitions. The Hammers will have to be more careful with their spending than the richest club in the world.
The 24-year-old has a number of attractive features about him. He can play anywhere across midfield for starters.
And he has a knack for finding the back of the net. So far this season he has scored 12 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions for Nantes.
What’s more, the report claims he will be available for just €20m (£17m) this summer.
His contract expires in the summer of 2024, so his French owners may be inclined to sell him come the end of the season.
Blas was Newcastle January target
In fact, Blas was reported to be in talks with Newcastle over a move in the January transfer window.
Nothing came of their interest at that time, but he remained on their radar. And now West Ham have joined them in the fight.
It’s anticipated other Prem clubs will begin to look at the former France under-20 international as well.
Watford had expressed an interest earlier this season. But their position in the table put him off, and they still look to be heading for the Championship.
Blas, who also holds Martinique citizenship, is yet to make a senior appearance for his national team. He started out at Guingamp before making a £7.2m switch to Nantes in 2019.