Howe to stick with what he knows as Newcastle target two record signings

Lloyd Kelly Bournemouth 2021 TEAMtalk1

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe is reportedly looking at three of his former Bournemouth players for the January transfer window as he tries to plot a route away from the danger zone and up the table.

The 43-year-old is now in the St James’ Park hotseat after replacing Steve Bruce at the helm. He has been promised funds to strengthen his squad and many names have been put forward as possibilities.

The January window is notoriously tough to work in, with clubs understandably reluctant to let their top players leave. The Magpies situation means Howe cannot plan for anything but survival this term.

Staying in the Premier League is paramount and he must recruit the right players in the new year. With that in mind, a report suggests the former Burnley chief will target those he knows.

According to 90min, Howe is considering a move for Manchester City defender Nathan Ake. Bournemouth broke their transfer record to sign him from Chelsea in June 2017.

The Netherlands international then moved to City in the summer of 2020 after the Cherries’ relegation to the Championship. But he has struggled for game time at the Etihad.

And recent reports claim Pep Guardiola is happy to let him leave in order to help fund future deals. That would open the way for the north-east outfit to strike in January.

Howe keeping close tabs on old boys

Ake might be a big-name target but Howe is also said to be monitoring Jefferson Lerma. The Colombia international’s fee surpassed that of Ake as Bournemouth paid Levante €30m for his services in August 2018.

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He has continued to shine for the south-coast outfit despite playing in the second tier of English football. The 27-year-old is a defensive midfielder and would be seen as an upgrade on current Newcastle players Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff.

He was a firm favourite of Howe’s while the two worked together at the Vitality Stadium. And he would not break the bank if the Tynesiders did decide to firm up their interest.

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The third member of the trio on Howe’s radar is defender Lloyd Kelly. The 23-year-old was signed by the Newcastle chief in May 2019.

He made eight top-flight appearances during his first season at the club but has been a regular ever since. The Bristol-born star has helped Bournemouth to the top of the Championship.

Nathan Ake, Joao Cancelo, Man City warm-up, say whoops-up, side-your-head, TEAMtalkNathan Ake, Joao Cancelo, Man City warm-up, say whoops-up, side-your-head

And Cherries boss Scott Parker would be reluctant to let him go with promotion a real possibility. January will herald a new era at Newcastle, with players coming and going as never before.

Money will be no object but identifying those who can do the hard yards when needed will be key.

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