Newcastle steal march on West Ham with €25m bid prepared for Serie A star

Antonin Barak Hellas Verona

Newcastle have moved ahead of West Ham in the race for a Serie A attacking midfielder, according to reports.

The Magpies are looking at potential targets to spend their newly-found riches on. They also need talented stars to help push them away from the relegation zone.

Newcastle, currently managed by interim boss Graeme Jones, sit 19th in the Premier League table. They have failed to win after their first ten matches of the campaign.

Their most recent outing ended in a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea. Reece James scored two good goals as Thomas Tuchel’s side eased to victory at St James’ Park.

Pundits, including those on BBC Match of the Day, pointed out Newcastle’s lack of creativity in attacking areas during the loss. They rarely managed to find forwards Allan Saint-Maximin or Callum Wilson with clever through balls.

With that in mind, it looks like Newcastle scouts have been searching for attacking midfielders to link the play.

Sport Witness, citing reports in the Italian press, claim that Antonin Barak is a target for the Magpies.

He is a 26-year-old playmaker who represents Hellas Verona in Italy and the Czech national team. Barak has started the season brightly, registering four goals and one assist in 11 Serie A appearances.

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Barak also featured three times at Euro 2020 before the Czech Republic’s quarter-final defeat to Denmark.

The report states that Newcastle are ready to offer €25m plus for the star. Such a fee could tempt Hellas Verona into a sale, too.

Premier League rivals West Ham were linked with Barak earlier this year. He was recommended to them by their current crop of Czech players, including Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal.

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The Irons were expected to launch a £10m bid but backed out at the last minute.

It looks like Newcastle are now in pole position to land the ace’s services.

New favourite emerges in Newcastle manager hunt

German outlet Sport1 write that Unai Emery is the new favourite to take charge of Newcastle.

The club are hoping to announce Steve Bruce’s permanent replacement during the international break.

They are willing to pay Villarreal significant compensation to free Emery from his contract.

Emery has experience in England, having managed Arsenal between July 2018 and November 2019. He was sacked following a poor run of results in the league and in Europe.

The Spaniard then turned his fortunes around by guiding Villarreal to the Europa League title last season.

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