Newcastle revealed as strongest suitors for Chelsea star amid pundit’s claim Leeds man could join Howe instead

Christian Pulisic, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, August 2022

Newcastle reportedly had the strongest transfer interest in Chelsea attacker Christian Pulisic this summer and could yet tempt Jack Harrison away from Leeds.

The Magpies have enjoyed a record-breaking couple of transfer windows under their new consortium of owners. Not only did they break their transfer record in January for Bruno Guimaraes, but they did so again for Alexander Isak.

Elsewhere in the summer transfer window, Newcastle added to their defence with Nick Pope and Sven Botman.

However, there were strong suggestions that boss Eddie Howe wanted another attacking signing. And they looked at Leeds winger Jack Harrison in the summer, with those links resurfacing recently.

According to journalist Simon Phillips, though, Chelsea’s USA international Pulisic was also on Newcastle’s radar in recent months.

Despite talk of a potential transfer to Juventus for the 24-year-old, it was supposedly the Magpies who led the race for him.

Phillips told Give Me Sport: “I’m told, in the summer, Newcastle were a lot closer to signing Pulisic than Juventus.

“They really wanted him on loan but, obviously, Chelsea weren’t going to do that, they only wanted to sell him permanently if they were going to let him go.”

Pulisic ended up staying put and Chelsea boss Graham Potter has moved to dismiss any speculation over the winger. Indeed, the recently-appointed manager insisted Pulisic can write a new chapter of his Chelsea story under him.

Newcastle could opt for Harrison

Harrison is still reportedly a Newcastle target amid his impressive form this term.

The 25-year-old has scored one Premier League goal and assisted three others.

And according to former Leeds goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, the Whites face a battle to keep hold of the former England Under-21 international.

“I’ve been impressed with him ever since he’s been at the club,” Martyn told the Daily Express. “He’s had spells in and out the team but when I’ve seen him play he brings lots of energy – he’s a threat.

“He’s a goal threat as well as creating lots of chances, he’s started this season really, really well, with lots of assists and again comes up with important goals too. He’ll be wanting to and trying to make a late run at the England squad if he can.

“In terms of keeping him, that will depend on how on happy he is. If he’s happy, Leeds’ results are good and he’s starting nearly every game then I think he’ll be happy to stay.

“I think probably last year they were all in Raphinha’s shadow a little bit. He was shining before that and he’s now shining brightly again. Obviously Newcastle, financially, have got a lot of money so they can turn his head financially.

“But hopefully he loves playing for Leeds enough that he doesn’t need to make the move.”

Magpies picking ideal signings

Newcastle would be making a sensible move by going after either Pulisic or Harrison in the upcoming transfer windows.

They are both yet to hit their prime years and still have a lot of untapped potential.

Any new contract elsewhere – such as at Newcastle – would likely take the duo into the best years of their careers.

Pulisic has admitted he has struggled at Chelsea, especially under Thomas Tuchel.

He hit his best heights at Borussia Dortmund but is yet to maintain such form consistently for Chelsea. And with his contract expiring in 2024, it is a massive season for Pulisic.

Harrison’s current Leeds deal also runs out at the end of next season, so he is in the same boat.

The two wingers will therefore be ones to watch as they potentially look for fresh challenges elsewhere.