Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle told January deal for ideal Tonali replacement is ‘impossible’ as Howe considers alternatives

Ben Stewart
Yunus Musah of AC Milan is pursued by Adrien Rabiot of Juventus

Yunus Musah of AC Milan is pursued by Adrien Rabiot of Juventus

Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on Newcastle target Adrien Rabiot and why a January deal will be difficult for Eddie Howe’s side to pull off.

It’s no secret that Newcastle are after another midfielder in the January window following Sandro Tonali being hit with a 10-month suspension.

Plenty of names are currently under consideration and Rabiot has been linked with a Premier League move for quite some time.

Manchester United were said to be interested in the French midfielder, although Rabiot’s agent recently dismissed claims around talks with the Red Devils.

Rabiot would tick plenty of boxes for what Newcastle are looking for and he would add some much-needed Champions League experience to their squad too.

His contract with Juventus is set to expire at the end of the season which has led to plenty of speculation over his long-term future.

Newcastle have been tipped to try their luck and sign Rabiot in January, but Romano has insisted that the midfielder will be sticking around at Juventus until the end of the season.

“Despite some speculation and his contract situation, my understanding is very clear that Adrien Rabiot is not leaving Juventus in January – it’s impossible,” Romano told The Daily Briefing.

“Juventus want to keep Rabiot and will offer him new contract for sure, at the moment there are no contacts with other clubs even if he’d like to play in Premier League one day. But for Juventus, he remains a crucial player.”

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Newcastle have alternative targets

While a move for Rabiot would tick plenty of boxes for Newcastle, they have also been weighing up other targets. A loan deal for Al-Hilal midfielder Ruben Neves has been rumoured.

The Portuguese midfielder made the switch to Saudi Arabia in the summer, but he could be tempted by a Premier League return in January.

Due to Financial Fair Play concerns, Newcastle wouldn’t be able to purchase Neves on a permanent deal in January, but a loan move could be on the cards.

The 26-year-old has looked a cut above in the Saudi Pro League so far as Al Hilal currently top the league with 32 points from a possible 36.

Throughout his time with Wolves, Neves showcased himself to be a consistent performer in the Premier League and he would add a new dynamic to Newcastle’s midfield.

With a deal for Rabiot now seemingly off the table in January, Newcastle could accelerate their pursuit of Neves over the coming weeks.

Along with Neves, Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips is a target for Howe’s side. The England international has barely featured under Pep Guardiola and will be keen to play regular first-team football ahead of Euro 2024.

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