Newcastle United are reportedly drawing closer to the first eye-catching signings of their bright new era, with deals for two big-name stars seemingly drawing close.
The Magpies are busying plans for the January transfer window after a recent takeover made them the world’s wealthiest club. The Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund (PIF) boasts wealth worth an estimated £320bn thanks to Mohammed bin Salman. And it seems money will be no object in their attempts to turn Newcastle from relegation candidates into prospective trophy challengers.
First up, however, appears to be the small matter of finding a new manager. With No 1 target Unai Emery rebuffing their approaches to stay with Villarreal, reports in Thursday’s Paper Talk now claim Eddie Howe is in pole position for the job.
Regardless of who they bring in, it seems the Magpies are at least pressing forward with plans to bolster their squad.
And according to the Daily Mail, a deal to bring Philippe Coutinho to St James’ Park is nearing a breakthrough.
The Brazilian has struggled badly since a move to Barcelona in 2018 for a deal that, with add-ons, could have reached £142m.
And while he showed glimpses of his quality during a loan to Bayern Munich, they negated their option to make the deal permanent.
However, Newcastle appear willing to offer Barcelona a similar deal for the now 29-year-old. He has been told by prospective new manager Xavi that he does not feature in their plans.
And with Newcastle willing to pay a large portion of his wages, they hope he will prove the spur they need to climb the table. Despite Coutinho’s fall from his Liverpool heights, he will hope a move to Tyneside can see him rekindle some of his best form.
However, unlike Bayern’s deal, Newcastle will include a mandatory obligation to buy the player.
Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian has previously outlined his client’s desire to return to the Premier League. Now it seems that is close to a reality if the Mail’s report proves accurate.
Niklas Sule also set for Newcastle
The Magpies are also in the hunt to sign Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule.
As per SportBild journalist Christian Falk, Niklas Sule is ‘interested’ in moving to St James’ Park.
The Germany international wants to make the move to the Premier League. The wages on offer at Newcastle would also be tempting.
Falk confirmed that talks between Newcastle and Sule’s agent began three weeks ago. That suggests a move could occur if the Magpies manage a successful charm offensive.
Sule would undoubtedly be an improvement on Newcastle’s current centre-back options. He has helped Bayern to win four consecutive Bundesliga titles since 2018.
The 26-year-old also featured six times on the Bavarians’ route to Champions League glory two seasons ago.
As per the latest, Newcastle plan to tempt Sule in January, but will agree to an initial loan. That would allow him to move elsewhere in the event that the Magpies suffer relegation.