Manchester City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko is wanted by new Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, according to a report.
Howe has been in situ on Tyneside for just over two weeks and he is beginning to work out which positions hew needs to strengthen in January. And the left full-back area is apparently an area Howe wants to improve. Howe went with a back three against Brighton with Matt Ritchie playing on the left of a four-man midfield.
Now though it seems apparent that Howe wants a more defensive minded wing-back. And, according to the Daily Mail, Newcastle “are weighing up an ambitious loan offer for Zinchenko”.
The versatile 24-year-old has struggled for game time this season with the brilliant Joao Cancelo ahead of him. Cancelo’s stats have been unbelievable with two goals and six assists so far. That has led to Zinchenko kicking his heels on the bench.
The three-time Premier League winner did get a rare start against Paris Saint-Germain in midweek. Pep Guardiola started him in a midfield three although he was hooked after 55 minutes for Gabriel Jesus.
The Ukraine international has played only 56 minutes in the Premier League so far this season and he may be tempted by regular game time. Injuries have halted his progress this season, but he is currently fit.
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Zinchenko is under contract until 2024, but Newcastle are looking at a temporary deal until the end of the season.
Wolves tried to sign the player in August 2018 while Nuno Espirito Santo was at the helm.
Zinchenko snubbed Wolves transfer
Sky Sports reported that the two clubs had agreed a £16m fee, but the player pulled the plug at the last minute to fight for his place.
The men from Molineux reportedly tried again, without success, last December to lure him to the Black Country.
Meanwhile, in the summer, according to Mundo Deportivo, Zinchenko was offered to Barcelona.
Pep Guardiola will be keen to keep Zinchenko, especially with Benjamin Mendy’s situation.
The France international has been accused of six counts of rape, relating to four women.
Zinchenko, as quoted by the Mail, said on Thursday: “Obviously I am here to try and help the team as much as I can. I am ready to play wherever the manager will put me.
“Everyone is running for each other. Everyone is trying to do everything possible on the pitch. The reaction against PSG was unbelievable.”