Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle transfers: Eddie Howe closes on next transfer as Magpies flex muscles to push Serie A giants aside

Nicolo Zaniolo, Tammy Abraham, Roma, February 2022

A report claims Newcastle Unted are now the frontrunners to sign Galatasaray star Nicolo Zaniolo after interest from Juventus waned over his price tag.

The Magpies interest in acquiring the Italy ace became apparent earlier this month. But they were far from the only club with an eye on the talented playmaker. Tottenham were thought to be keen while Italian duo AC Milan and Juve were also mentioned in connection with the star.

The Old Lady appeared to be pushing for a summer transfer. However, it seems as though the Turin giants could be out of the running after balking at his value.

Zaniolo, 24, has a £30.1m release clause. Juve have been negotiating for the Turkish giants to lower that value.

But, with the Massa-born star still having four years left on his contract, Gala have no intention of playing ball.

It was recently reported that Newcastle have been in talks with the player’s agent.

And Turkish Football are now suggesting that the Tynesiders are favourites to make Zaniolo their next signing.

Spurs were also mentioned as possible suitors but Ange Postecoglou’s initial interest appears to have waned.

Therefore the way is open for Newcastle to snap up yet another young talent ahead of the new campaign.

Whether the north-east outfit can secure his signature before their season opener looks unlikely.

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Howe welcomes Aston Villa to St James’ Park on Saturday.

It will be a clash of two sides who shone in 2022-2023, with Villa finishing seventh under Unai Emery.

The hosts will have plenty of options after a productive summer of recruitment.

Howe set to gamble on Zaniolo

Newcastle’s fourth-place finish means they will play in the 2023-24 Champions League.

The club’s hierarchy knew they needed new players to cope with the demands of Europe’s elite club competition.

And they have been busy, with defensive midfielder Sandro Tonali the standout buy.

The Italy international cost around €64m while Harvey Barnes arrived from Leicester City for €44m.

Tino Livramento left relegated Southampton to join the Newcastle revolution and Zaniolo may well be the next man in.

Having struggled to make the grade at Inter, the attacker moved to Roma before joining Galatasaray after being targeted by a section of the Roma fans.

He scored five goals from 11 appearance in all competitions for the Sup Lig outfit following his move on February 8 this year.

Several clubs have clearly had him watched but there is a note of caution over his injury history.

The Italian has struggled with injuries and missed the entire 2020-2021 campaign due to a serious knee problem.

The Magpies will be well aware of his past but may see it as a risk worth taking.

He has experience of playing in both the Champions League and Europa League and would provide Howe with another attacking option.

Allan Saint-Maximin has left for Saudi Arabia and there was talk that Zaniolo was also under consideration by clubs in the Middle East nation.

But it is claimed he is eager to stay in Europe to prove himself against the best players in the world.

It looks set to be an exciting and challenging season for Newcastle United.

Zaniolo could be the final piece of the puzzle as they look to continue their upward trend over the past 18 months.

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