Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle intend to sign Liverpool icon in game-changing January splurge; midfield pair also wanted

Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, Liverpool

Newcastle plan to exploit their Saudi Arabian connections by signing multiple major names from the Saudi Pro League in January – including a former Liverpool forward, per reports.

Premier League clubs voted on whether to put a temporary ban on ‘associated clubs’ sanctioning loan deals between them in the upcoming winter window.

The vote took place in late-November and returned a result of 13 to seven in favour of introducing a ban. However, the threshold for introducing new legislation is 14 votes, meaning the motion failed.

As such, Newcastle are free to to secure loan agreements with the four Saudi Arabian clubs who share the same Public Investment Fund owners. The quartet are Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad.

Newcastle’s season has run aground over the last few days as their injury crisis has begun to bite.

Manager Eddie Howe has been unable to rotate those who remain fit and fatigue has set in. Heavy defeats to Everton (3-0) and Tottenham (4-1) have tempered expectations.

Fifth position may be good enough to qualify for next season’s Champions League amid the competition’s expanded format for the 2024/25 season.

However, with Aston Villa coming to the fore and Liverpool enjoying a bounce-back season, finishing fifth is no simple task for the Magpies.

An influx of new players in January would provide a timely boost, though Newcastle are understood to have little wriggle room with regards to financial fair play.

As such, utilising their Saudi connections is an option and according to online outlet Football Insider, that’s exactly what Newcastle plan to do.

Newcastle planning January transfer bonanza

They state Newcastle are preparing for ‘multiple loan signings’ in January to breathe new life into their season.

Football Insider named ex-Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves as a player Newcastle could target. Sandro Tonali’s 10-month suspension for breaching betting regulations has left a void in central midfield which Neves could fill.

Elsewhere, a report in Spain (as cited by Caught Offside), has revealed former Liverpool ace Sadio Mane is also in Newcastle’s sights.

Mane plies his trade for Al-Nassr alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, though could be offered a shock return to the Premier League.

The 31-year-old would add end product to Newcastle’s left flank. Harvey Barnes’ three-month lay-off with a toe injury has left Anthony Gordon unchallenged.

The Spanish outlet also highlighted Neves as an option for the midfield. However, when addressing the Portuguese’s future in November, trusted journalistDavid Ornstein suggested a January switch is unlikely. The story may well be different next summer.

The final player namechecked in the piece was former Lazio talisman, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

The Serbian operates as a box-to-box midfielder for Al-Hilal and was previously among Serie A’s most effective midfielders.

The 28-year-old was named Lazio player of the season in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 campaigns. He’s returned figures of five goals and four assists in 13 SPL matched for Al-Hilal.

Any loan moves would likely run for six months until the end of the current season.

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