Newcastle United risk losing out on Eddie Howe favourite Steve Cook at Bournemouth, as fellow Premier League strugglers Watford have registered an interest.
Newcastle’s interest in the Bournemouth defender was reported last week. Indeed, they are looking for realistic transfer options for the January window.
However, interest from Watford and Championship high-flyers Queens Park Rangers looks to have made the Newcastle’s pursuit a struggle, per Football Insider.
Cook would be a competent player for any of the interested sides. The centre-back has made 168 Premier League appearances across five campaigns, with most of those coming under Howe.
However, he has made only three Championship appearances this season, completing 90 minutes in just two of those.
Despite that, the Englishman’s defensive capabilities have been proven in the past. Indeed, Watford and Newcastle could do with stemming the flow of goals against them. Both sides are in the bottom four Premier League sides when it comes to goals conceded.
With Cook’s Bournemouth deal expiring at the end of the season, selling up now would be a smart move for the Cherries. That rings especially true given Cook’s current fringe role at the club.
Indeed, Newcastle and Howe would be able to afford the cut-price star without issue. However, the interest from another two sides could make things more difficult.
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What’s more, Cook would likely prefer to play Premier League football, as he has done for a major period of his career.
As such, Watford – with games in hand over the sides around them – may hold the best hand, despite being only two points above the drop zone.
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The situation Newcastle find themselves in at present is not an attractive one, for either themselves, or potential signings. However, they look to have found an intriguing solution to that problem.
Indeed, players may not want to join on a permanent basis and risk playing in the Championship next season.
However, loan offers with an option to buy should they beat the drop seems a good alternative.
A loan deal would be suitable for both parties. It would give Martial the chance at some much-needed playing time away from United, and could well help Newcastle in avoiding relegation.