Newcastle United are “intent” on signing at least one of Burnley pair Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, according to a report.
And the Magpies, who are now under the wealthy ownership of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), are ready to offer the defenders double-your-money deals. After bagging their first win of the season over Burnley, Newcastle are preparing to land another blow on the Clarets by luring away one of their defensive kingpins.
Tarkowski played at St James’ Park at the weekend, while captain Mee, 32, missed out with a shoulder injury.
Both players are out of contract next summer and can leave on free transfers. Unless of course they are sold in January or sign new deals.
Meanwhile, Burnley boss Sean Dyche says he is not worried about losing the experienced pair.
“He (Mee) is just like the others in that we stay open minded with those situations,” said Dyche. “Dialogue between the club and their agents.
“So yeah, he understands where that is at.”
The Sun claimed Newcastle are looking at Mee. While the Daily Mirror report that the Magpies are ready to double the salaries of both Mee and Tarkowski in a bid to lure them north.
The Clarets pair are believed to be on £50,000-a-week deals, meaning Newcastle are prepared to make them £100,000-a-week players.
The club are planning hefty signing on fees, wages and bonuses in a bid to get one of them on board. It would be a twin-pronged transfer which would lift Newcastle’s hopes, while at the same time dent Burnley’s survival hopes.
Dyche and Burnley will fight desperately to make sure they do not lose both players next month. Newcastle though are “intent” on making the damaging move.
Eddie Howe is chasing a new centre-back to help try and plug the gaps at the back. And another name in the frame is Lille’s Sven Botman.
Manchester United have emerged as possible suitors after Ralf Rangnick’s arrival.
Botman alternative for Newcastle
A report over the weekend suggested the German tactician has put the Dutchman on a wish-list of four defenders. However, Newcastle’s interest has now been confirmed by sources in England.
And Belgian football expert Sacha Tavolieri has backed up those claims. He took to Twitter (via Sport Witness) to suggest that the starlet is ‘well and truly’ on the ‘shortlist’ at St James’ Park.
The 6ft 4in centre-back has a ‘profile they like a lot for this winter’.
However, Newcastle would have to pay a premium to land Botman. The price tag on the Dutch 21-year-old is around the £40m mark. It’s a figure that is not out of reach for the club and his age means his sell-on potential is high.
However, the fact that Botman may need time to settle into life in England and adapt from the French league may see Howe plump for one of Burnley’s men.