Newcastle plotting move for Brazil star with £65m release clause after rejected £30m bid fails to extinguish the fire

Ben Stewart
Pepe (Eduardo Gabriel Aquino Cossa) (11) of FC Porto pictured with Noa Lang (10) of Club Brugge during a soccer game between Club Brugge KV and FC Porto during the fifth matchday in group B in the Uefa Champions League for the 2022-2023 season

Reports have claimed that Newcastle remain interested in Porto winger Pepe Aquino and could make a move to sign him this month.

Eddie Howe’s side have been long-term admirers of the Brazilian winger. It was revealed last summer that they had a £30million bid rejected for the player.

The 25-year-old has been a consistent performer for Porto this season. In the league alone he has played over 1,200 minutes this season and has six goal contributions.

What makes him so useful is his versatility as he has played in multiple positions this year. From striker to right-back, he has played almost everywhere.

The majority of his appearances this term have been as a right-back, but he is most known for being a winger. His ability to play in multiple positions would make him a useful option for Eddie Howe.

Kieran Trippier is their undisputed number-one right-back, but a player like Pepe could provide cover in this position whilst also being an option on the wing.

Brazilian outlet IG have reported that Newcastle are ‘keeping an interest and monitoring’ the player’s situation with Porto. The player is understood to have a release clause of around £65million, although Newcastle would surely consider this too expensive.

In the Primeira Liga this season the 25-year-old has averaged 1.6 dribbles and 1.4 key passes per game. He tends to influence things in the final third and would be an interesting purchase for a side like Newcastle.

Newcastle remaining patient 

Newcastle spent over £100million in the summer on the likes of Alexander Isak, Sven Botman and Nick Pope. They have been patient in January so far though and are still waiting on their first major signing of the month.

Chris Wood is the latest player to depart the club as his deal with Nottingham Forest was recently confirmed. Howe has clarified that they are exploring options to replace him.

The manager explained: “[We’re] hopefully planning to replace him. Certainly from my side there was no thought of letting a player go and not replacing because I think that would leave us dangerously short of players. But there’s no guarantees.

“I don’t think we’ll necessarily replace Chris with another Chris, if that makes sense.

“We’re not necessarily looking for that type of player in the market. But we’ll see what we can do with 11 days to go. It’s not long, but it’s got to be the right player, that’s always so important in any transfer deal we look to do.

“We would have targets we would pursue for sure and we’ll see how we go. I think it’s important not just to have one; we have a pool of players that we like.”

Elsewhere on Newcastle’s targets list, they are also considering a move for Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The 25-year-old has scored one goal from seven league starts this season.

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