Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

James Tarkowski transfer update: Newcastle close on swoop for Burnley star as rivals drop interest

James Tarkowski, Burnley, April 2022.

Newcastle United appear to have a clear run at Burnley defender James Tarkowski following reports West Ham United have pulled out of the race to sign him.

Tarkowski is set to fall out of contract and will be available on a free transfer. There has been no shortage of interest in the 29-year-old but Newcastle are in the box seat. That is according to a report in the Mirror which says St James’ Park will be the destination.

Magpies boss Eddie Howe is known to be in the hunt for at least one new defender. Indeed players such as Sven Botman and Cameron Carter-Vickers continue to be linked to the club.

Botman in particular would cost big money and although he remains a target, Howe has other options. Tarkowski is one of them and he ticks a lot of boxes.

He has been there and done it when making 192 appearances in the Premier League. He possesses great leadership skills and is available on a free transfer. The latter is a huge plus as Newcastle attempt to fit in with Financial Fair Play.

It does not mean that Newcastle will not be targeting big signings. But not every deal will excite the fans. Tarkowski would fall in to that bracket and would be a solid addition.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Howe touched on his transfer plans. And he has suggested that the bargain bucket is an option as well.

“We’ve sat down and discussed the squad and I think we have a very good vision of where we want to take the team,” Howe told reporters. “Now the hard part comes where you have to reshape the squad, both ins and outs, and try to come back with a better squad.

“We want to try to bring the right players in, ones that are proud to wear the shirt and that can make a difference.”

Tarkowski would fit such criteria and a deal looks to be happening. West Ham were strongly linked but the Mirror say they are out of the race. The Hammers have conceded defeat to Newcastle and will pursue other targets.

James Tarkowski the perfect fit for Newcastle

Tarkowski may not be the sexy signing that will excite the fans. However he could be just what Newcastle need at the back. Howe’s men have been shaky at times and the Clarets star will bring leadership an organisation.

He is proven in the Premier League and his performances have earned him England recognition in the past. There are questions over whether some targets will be able to play in the top flight. That is not the case with Tarkowski who is a player that Howe can trust.

The defender is ready for a fresh challenge and can play in a team competing higher up the Premier League. And on a free transfer it is a no-brainer for Howe and the recruitment team.

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