Newcastle are sensing an opportunity to snag an Aston Villa star regarded highly by his teammates, and Steven Gerrard’s January spending may have inadvertently made a deal possible, per reports.
Gerrard wasted little time stamping his authority on Aston Villa’s squad in his first window at the helm. Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho signed on loan with Villa negotiating a a reported £33m option to buy.
The Brazilian looked motivated and determined to prove a point when ensuring his re-debut in England was a scoring one against Manchester United last weekend.
Elsewhere, Gerrard capitalised on the unrest at Everton when snapping up France left-back Lucas Digne for £25m.
The 28-year-old walked straight into the eleven for the Red Devils clash, jettisoning Matt Targett to the bench.
As such, 90min state that development has seen Newcastle spy an opportunity to test the waters.
Matt Targett future now uncertain
They state Newcastle have ‘enquired’ about the 26-year-old who ‘may be available’ following Digne’s arrival.
HITC add their take to the situation. They claim Gerrard will have signed Digne to ensure competition is fierce within his squad, rather than with a view to moving Targett on.
However, Targett is highly regarded at Villa Park after scooping the Players’ Player of the Season award last year.
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Relegation to the bench may be a bitter pill to swallow, though the outlet suggest any exit would likely require Targett to actively push for a move.
Nonetheless, Newcastle have the financial capability to match any demands Villa make. And if Targett doesn’t take kindly to his demotion, Newcastle appear ready to pounce.
Newcastle up Lingard offer, but West Ham favourites
Meanwhile, Newcastle look likely to miss out on Jesse Lingard despite preparing an increased offer, amid claims the player is more tempted by a move to their Premier League rivals.
Manchester United are preparing to listen to loan offers for the player. As such, Newcastle on Wednesday launched a £2m bid for his services, as well as covering the entirity of his salary.
However, talkSPORT reports that opening offer has been rejected by the Red Devils. Indeed, they are reportedly seeking a fee of £3.5m to take the player on loan. As such, Newcastle are ready to meet United’s demands and pay the full £3.5m asking price.
However, their hopes of signing him appear far from cut and dried. Indeed, multiple reports state that Lingard is instead willing to wait for a return to West Ham. His loan campaign with the Hammers last season brought the best out of the forward.
And with West Ham reportedly readying an approach of their own, it seems Lingard’s return to London looks the likely course of action.
The Hammers saw a big-money offer to sign the player permanently rejected by Manchester United last summer.
But now, knowing they can sign him for just £3.5m on loan – just £500,000 more than they paid last season – ahead of a free transfer, Moyes is finally set to land his man.