Newcastle United are emerging as the strong favourites to secure the signing of a World Cup midfielder likely to be available on a cut-price fee in the January window.
The Magpies are enjoying an excellent season so far, having just lost once in their 15 games played to date. Indeed, alongside Arsenal, the break in the season for the World Cup probably came at the worst possible time for Newcastle. As such, they had enjoyed five successive wins going into the break, having overcome the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham to underline their top-four potential.
And with their improved results comes a raised expectancy at St James’ Park. And while Eddie Howe’s side are not considered among the favourites to seal a top-four finish, current form suggests they look a difficult team to overcome.
Their renaissance was first sparked by an excellent January transfer window almost one year ago. During that winter window 2022, the Magpies brought in five new signings with Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes the most eye-catching.
Now, close to a year later, Eddie Howe is looking towards another January transfer splurge that can help secure a solid second half to the season.
Howe’s major priorities is to bring in a classy midfield star to partner Guimaraes in midfield. To that end, one pundit has named and shamed the Newcastle man he feels needs stepping down if they are to reach the next level.
And according to reports in Italy, Howe has put his side firmly in the hunt to sign Juventus star Adrien Rabiot.
The midfielder is no stranger to speculation linking him with moves to the Premier League. To that end, he’s held talks over the summer with a move to Manchester United.
Howe to win Adrien Rabiot transfer race
The Red Devils, though, could not agree a deal and ultimately plumped for Casemiro. His signing, for a fee that could reach £70m, meant Rabiot remained at Juventus, for the time being at least.
The demand for Rabiot, though, has remained high. Reports recently claimed Chelsea were pushing hard to secure his signing in January, with Graham Potter in need of midfield reinforcements.
There is interest too from Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp in a similar position, while Arsenal are also reportedly exploring a potential deal.
Whatever his future holds, Rabiot has suggested a move to the Premier League could be an option when the time comes to leave Juventus.
That contract at Juventus expires at the end of the season, suggesting a cut-price January move could be on the cards. To that end, reports are indicating that an offer of around £12m to £15m will convince the Bianconeri to sell.
Now, a report in Il Bianconero suggests Newcastle are ‘above all’ in the race to sign Rabiot. The 28-year-old is currently starring for France at the World Cup, making a big impression so far.
And while the fee would not be an issue, it is often his personal terms that have stalled potential moves. However, Howe and Co are reportedly ready to play an ace card by going high with their wages offer. That will seemingly see them edge ahead of both Liverpool and Chelsea, with neither seemingly ready to go quite so high.
A deal for Rabiot would certainly serve notice of Newcastle’s intentions. And a partnership alongside Guimaraes in midfield would give Howe’s side one of the best central midfield partnerships in the Premier League.