Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle ‘prepared’ to trigger £67.5m release clause in statement attacker signing

Luis Diaz battles with Lionel Messi during Colombia vs Argentina in the Copa America, July 2021

Newcastle have lined up a Champions League winger as a statement signing in January and are ‘prepared’ to pay a whopping £67.5m release clause in full, claims a report.

All eyes will be on Newcastle once the January transfer window opens. The Magpies are now the world’s richest club following their Saudi-led takeover. If their desire to open the chequebook wasn’t already there, the need to stave off relegation will likely ensure big money is spent.

A new manager and sporting director are expected to be installed over the coming weeks. Once in place, the club will be able to formulate a strategy of attack in the transfer market.

Nonetheless, the Daily Mail (citing Portuguese station SPORT TV), claim a statement attacking signing is already on the horizon.

They report FC Porto winger Luis Diaz is in their sights. What’s more, the Magpies are said to be ‘prepared’ to activate his £67.5m release clause.

The Colombian, 24, operates primarily on the flanks and has been in fine form this season. He’s bagged seven goals in 11 matches for Porto and notched four at the 2021 Copa America when he joint-top scoring alongside Lionel Messi.

Diaz may be known to English audiences from his outing against Liverpool in the Champions League this season.

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Porto were routed 5-1 on the night, though Diaz was one of the few Porto stars to look capable of going toe-to-toe with the Reds on that occasion.

The report claims Diaz would be targeted in January. If the move materialises, Newcastle would be kicking off their new era in the market with a bang.

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Meanwhile, an ex-Arsenal attacker who split opinion in the latter stages of his Gunners career is on a shortlist of Newcastle transfer targets, claims a report.

Goal (citing Turkish journalist Ekrem Konur), claim former Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil is on the Necwastle’s shortlist.

Ozil, 33, divided opinion during his stint in north London. Mesmeric displays were often interspersed with a perceived lack of desire for the defensive side of the game.

His latter years at the club saw his role reduced significantly under former boss Unai Emery and later Mikel Arteta despite being the club’s top earner. That ultimately led to a move to Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce in January where he is the current captain.

Whether a player of Ozil’s age and profile is who Newcastle should be targeting is open to debate. But per the source, he could be joined at St. James’ Park by fellow Fenerbahce teammate Altay Bayındır.

The goalkeeper, 23, earned his first international caps with Turkey in 2021 following stellar form at club level. His contract expires in 2023, making this winter the ideal opportunity for Fenerbahce to cash in if a suitable offer is lodged.

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