Newcastle United have already identified five targets for the January transfer window, a report claims – and the most recent rumour would reunite Eddie Howe with a former player.
After being taken over by a Saudi-backed consortium, expectations are high for Newcastle ahead of January. That said, they will face a battle to convince top targets given their current position in the Premier League relegation zone.
Money talks, though, and several players could be enticed by their long-term plans. With that in mind, Newcastle are working on their shortlist of targets.
The first important step for the new owners was to establish who their next head coach would be. Now that Howe is in position, they can really push forward with their plans.
According to Marca, Newcastle have five targets in mind for the January transfer window. In most cases, the speculation has already existed, but one link that appears to be new is that with Tyrone Mings.
Mings currently captains Aston Villa, who are about to enter a new era of their own after appointing Steven Gerrard as manager.
Villa will be keen to keep hold of Mings, but Newcastle may test their resolve. Defence is an area for them to consolidate after conceding 24 goals from their first 11 Premier League games this season.
The England international is seen as someone who could be a leader in their backline if he was to make such a switch.
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Mings previously played under Howe at Bournemouth, although injuries limited his involvement. He only appeared 23 times under the new Magpies boss.
They could yet get a chance to work together again. However, with a contract until 2024, Mings is unlikely to be made available by Villa – who are just five points above Newcastle in the table.
Indeed, there have been doubts about whether any Premier League clubs would be willing to do business with Newcastle after the reception to their takeover.
Therefore, the Magpies may have to look abroad for alternative targets. Another defender on their radar to be mentioned by Marca is Niklas Sule of Bayern Munich.
There is a feeling that Bayern may make Sule available, despite him getting plenty of gametime, if Newcastle put together a decent financial package.
Newcastle linked with midfield trio
Elsewhere in the report, the other three names to be linked with Newcastle are all midfielders.
First, Marca suggest Toni Kroos of Real Madrid is of interest. The German international wants to spend the rest of his career in the Spanish capital. However, Newcastle will still try their luck.
If they make an offer that Madrid can’t refuse, Kroos may have his mind made up for him. But Marca still concede he is the most difficult signing of the lot.
The alternatives both come from Manchester United. The report claims Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard are both under consideration.
Neither of the attack-minded midfielders is getting much gametime at present. They could seek exits to revive their careers, just as Lingard did on loan with West Ham last season.
In Van de Beek’s case, Man Utd know they will struggle to recoup the fee they paid Ajax for him. However, they could tempt Newcastle to go close.
Lingard, on the other hand, would be available for a cheaper price. His contract expires at the end of the season. Man Utd could cash in now to avoid losing him for free.
The England international wants to find more space elsewhere to boost his chances of getting to the 2022 World Cup.
It seems difficult for Newcastle to sign all five players. Each transfer race would come with its own obstacles. But the new owners are definitely capable of making a statement in the transfer market should they desire.