Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle dismiss Neymar fantasy with ‘three or four’ craftier transfers eyed; £30m deal first up

Jose Fonte, Neymar, Sven Botman and Kylian Mbappe

Newcastle laughed off ambitious speculation linking them to Neymar, with a report revealing their surprise plan for the summer window and beyond.

The Magpies hit the jackpot when taken over by the Saudi-led PIF in 2021. That sparked rampant speculation over who Newcastle could target in the transfer market, with the prospect of seeing some of the world’s greatest footballers at St. James’ Park a tantalising one.

Newcastle did splash the cash at their first attempt in January, forking out around £90m. That saw the likes of Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes arrive.

It’s unquestionable their January additions have been a huge factor in pushing Newcastle nine points clear of danger.

One school of thought suggested Newcastle would unleash their true financial power in the summer safe in the knowledge their Premier League status had been secured.

However, according to the Telegraph, that won’t be the case.

The newspaper report Newcastle will instead adopt a ‘pragmatic’ approach that will see the club evolve gradually. Rather than pumping £150m or £200m into a single window, they will instead spend similar to what they did in January – £90m.

And given Eddie Howe’s squad still requires major surgery, that will see ‘three or four’ players targeted in the summer, thus ruling out individual big name buys.

Neymar dismissed; Botman, Ekitike eyed

The report adds Newcastle’s chiefs were ‘amused’ at the recent speculation linking them to Neymar. For the foreseeable future at least, that type of blockbuster deal is out of the question.

Instead, a meeting between the club’s decision-makers has determined a more cautious approach should be taken. That will also see the club refuse to smash their wage structure, with their current top earners pocketing around £100,000-a-week.

That will rule out the type of eye-catching free agent swoop they have been linked with. Signing Paul Pogba is one example of a deal that is unworkable if their plan is stuck to.

A more realistic prospect is reigniting their interest in Lille centre-half Sven Botman.

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The Dutchman, 22, was pursued along with Sevilla’s Diego Carlos in January. Newcastle landed neither, but the Telegraph suggest that move will be rekindled at the cost of around £30m.

Also on their radar is a renewed push to sign French youngster Hugo Ekitike.

The Rennes striker was the subject of an accepted £16m bid from Newcastle. However, the player blocked the move, instead opting to review his options at season’s end. With Newcastle’s Premier League status set to be secured, that deal is another than could be revisited.

Newcastle can also bolster their spending power through sales of their own. Isaac Hayden, Jamal Lewis and Ciaran Clark should all make way after the trio weren’t included in Newcastle’s post-January 25-man Premier League squad.