Newcastle are aiming high in the January window after a report revealed a Chelsea target is part of a two-pronged defensive rebuild.
Despite being the richest club in the world, Newcastle are facing up to the very real possibility of Championship football next season. Eddie Howe’s side have won just one league match all season and have played at least one match more than each of their survival rivals.
However, the Magpies have near-bottomless funds at their disposal, and all eyes will be on St. James’ Park come January 1.
Football Insider recently stated central defence and holding midfield are Howe’s priority in the market. That comes as no surprise given Newcastle have shipped the most goals in the Premier League this season.
Now, according to the Sun, Newcastle are aiming high with Barcelona and Everton deals on the agenda.
Howe to capitalise on Digne unrest
Firstly, they are targeting unsettled Toffees left-back, Lucas Digne. The Frenchman, 28, has fallen out of favour with Rafael Benitez after an apparent training ground bust-up.
That led to Chelsea registering their interest following the ACL injury suffered by Ben Chilwell.
However, that trail has since gone cold with Newcastle now hoovering up the headlines. The Sun state Digne would set Newcastle back £25m and is ‘in line to be sold’ by Benitez.
Lucas Digne out the door after Everton spat
Lucas Digne seems to be on his way out of Everton as new left back found following spat with manager Rafa Benitez
The second name on their shortlist is Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti. The centre-half’s importance at the Camp Nou has diminished this season. Just a single league start has been forthcoming, with a remarkable Daily Express report claiming Barcelona already consider him an ‘ex-player’.
Barcelona’s financial strife has been well documented and shifting Umtiti could aid their cause. His reported £220,000-per-week wages will deter most suitors, but not Newcastle.
Umtiti would command a £17m fee per the Sun. If the Frenchman helps to shore up their leaky backline, it would be money well spent.
West Ham cede control of second deal to Newcastle?
Meanwhile, Newcastle and West Ham remain interested in Burnley’s James Tarkowski, but the Hammers may be about to concede defeat to the Magpies.
According to the Sun, the Clarets defender is in demand ahead of the winter window. At 29, Tarkowski would be a signing for the here and now – precisely what the two suitors need.
His contract expires next summer, meaning January is the last chance Burnley have to cash in before losing him for free in six months’ time. They reportedly held out for £40m when West Ham came calling in 2020. Given his contract status, that figure may now have dropped.
Money could talk and no club has greater spending power than Newcastle at present. As such, a second report from the Telegraph highlights West Ham’s alternate plan.
The newspaper stated Moyes has ‘identified Lloyd Kelly’ as his new saviour next month.
The Bournemouth centre-half, 23, has played a pivotal role in the club’s promotion push this season. Despite a wretched run of recent form, the Cherries won at QPR on Monday to go top of the table again.
Predictably, the Telegraph state the Championship high flyers are reluctant to part ways with Kelly. But as Burnley may find out with Tarkowski and Newcastle, money could talk for Bournemouth and West Ham.