Newcastle have flexed their financial muscles and ousted Juventus from the race to sign a Belgium regular, though whether he will accept their proposal is another matter entirely, according to a report.
Currently sitting in 19th position and already five points adrift of safety, new boss Eddie Howe will hope to hit the ground running. Newcastle’s Saudi-led takeover has elevated them to become the richest club in the world. But if Howe can’t turn their ship around, they’ll wind up being the richest club in the Championship.
Regardless, once the January window opens its doors, many expect the Magpies to spend their way out of trouble.
That approach could be as good as any tactical tweak Howe could implement, and Sport Witness provide an update on one of their pursuits.
Citing Italian outlet TuttoJuve, it’s revealed they are in the mix for Borussia Dortmund midfielder, Axel Witsel.
The Belgium regular has amassed well over 100 senior caps for his country. Despite being 32, he remains an elite operator. However, his current deal with the German giant expires next summer.
Juventus were reported to be a serious contender to bring him to Italy, but Newcastle have reportedly laid waste to their hopes.
The outlet states forging a deal for Witsel in January is a very real possibility. Whether that would be a cut-price sale or a pre-contract agreement, however, isn’t clear.
Newcastle to bid for Manchester United's Dean Henderson in January
Newcastle United will reportedly bid for Manchester United's Dean Henderson in January, with more updates on Anthony Martial and Philippe Coutinho.
Nonetheless, Newcastle are reported to have leapfrogged their Italian rivals by making an ‘indispensable offer’.
They have reportedly put an offer of ‘€10m per season’ on the table. That dawrfs the ‘€7m per season’ that Juve were prepared to pay.
The extra cost, plus second thoughts about his advancing age has resulted in Juventus removing themselves from the equation. That has left Newcastle in pole position, but whether Witsel will sign on the dotted line cannot be determined at this stage.
One ray of hope for Newcastle could stem from Witsel’s transfer history. The article notes he has accepted unusual moves in the past when high salaries were on offer. Witsel previously played in China with Tianjin Tianhai and Russia at Zenit St.Petersburg.
Newcastle aim high with Barcelona bid
Meanwhile, Newcastle have made an approach to bring a world-class Barcelona star to England, according to reports.
After being linked with a plethora of top class stars, arguably their most ambitious pursuit is of Barcelona shot-stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The German has regularly proven himself to be one of the world’s best goalkeepers. During a tough year for the club, he has continued to be one of their top performers.
Newcastle’s interest first came to light on November 4. Sport Witness, citing reports in the Spanish press, write that they have followed up on such links.
Club officials have sent ter Stegen an official offer. They are keen to make him their new number one, replacing the likes of Karl Darlow and Martin Dubravka.
The star was left ‘surprised’ by the approach, and is unlikely to accept it. He is concerned about the ‘technical structure’ at St James’ Park. PIF are yet to install a new chief executive and have surprisingly kept Lee Charnley as managing director.
The reaction means Newcastle may have to accept defeat in their transfer pursuit. One alternative is Man Utd player Dean Henderson, who is looking for a temporary switch away from Old Trafford.