Divock Origi features on a four-man shortlist of attacking targets Newcastle United are considering after receiving encouragement over the asking price Liverpool have set.
That’s according to the Daily Telegraph, who report that Newcastle are hoping to find cover for Callum Wilson this winter. Not only that, they could also look to upgrade their options supplying their strikers.
Wilson is currently on the sidelines with a calf injury. Although he is one of the better players in the Newcastle squad, his physical issues may prompt them to find a new striker in January.
Thanks to their Saudi-backed takeover, they can afford to sign high-profile players. But given their status in a relegation battle, they are having to get creative for their first transfer window under the new owners.
The Telegraph have now revealed four players they are considering to strengthen in the final third. At the top of their shortlist is Liverpool forward Divock Origi.
The Belgium international has cult-hero status at Anfield for his role in their 2019 Champions League victory. However, he remains very much a fringe player.
Origi is yet to start a Premier League match this season, making just three appearances in the top flight from the bench. He has subsequently been linked with a winter exit.
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The Magpies have learned that Liverpool could sell Origi for just £7m. They feel that would be a wise investment, although his wages are more costly.
Of course, the new owners can afford those demands should they wish. And if Origi indicates a desire to leave Liverpool, his current employers will not stand in his way – despite being without fellow forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane during the course of their African Cup of Nations involvements.
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Even so, Newcastle will still have to weigh up if Origi is the right man for them. Alternatively, they could look into a deal for Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke.
Such a transfer would reunite the former Liverpool man with Howe, who originally took him to the South Coast. Solanke has been doing well in the Championship and could be ready for another attempt at top-flight football.
But Bournemouth do not want to let their top talent go while challenging for promotion themselves. Therefore, it would be hard for Newcastle to prise him away.
A third striker they are discussing is Eddie Nketiah, whose contract with Arsenal expires at the end of the season. The England under-21s record scorer wants more opportunities away from the Emirates Stadium.
Newcastle have been scouting him for a number of years and now may have their chance to take him.
Cantwell under consideration
Meanwhile, the fourth attacking player Newcastle are linked with by the Telegraph – although not a centre-forward – is Todd Cantwell.
Newcastle have reportedly made an enquiry for the Norwich City attacking midfielder. It is believed that their relegation rivals are not against a deal; selling Cantwell could be more valuable to them now than when they could be back in the Championship.
Besides, Cantwell only has 18 months left on his contract and has told them he will not sign a renewal. Therefore, it makes sense for the Canaries to cash in while they can.
They hope to receive £15m to £20m for his sale. Newcastle are aware of their demands, but will be taking their time before deciding whether to make a formal offer.
For all positions, Newcastle are planning to pick players with Premier League experience. Therefore, a four-man shortlist of Origi, Solanke, Nketiah and Cantwell fits their thinking.