Newcastle have been told there is no chance of them signing a Barcelona star in January, according to reports.
The Magpies are hunting for top-class players this winter to push them away from the relegation zone. They will use some of the newly-found riches after their £305m takeover last month.
Eddie Howe’s side are vying with Chelsea and Everton for Lorenzo Insigne. The Napoli skipper, 30, is out of contract in June and negotiations over an extension are yet to reach a conclusion.
Newcastle hope they can prize him away from Italy with a huge contract offer in the new year.
Another target for the Tyneside outfit is Hellas Verona playmaker Antonin Barak. The Czech Republic international would potentially link up well with Newcastle forwards Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson.
Barak would cost around £21m. His team-mate, striker Giovanni Simeone, is also available for £10m and is on Newcastle’s wish list.
Arguably the club’s most ambitious plan is to land Barcelona attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazilian has struggled to have any significant impact since his £142m switch from Liverpool over three years ago.
Coutinho’s greatest achievement came while on loan at Bayern. He helped them to win the 2020 Champions League, scoring twice against his parent club in a quarter-final thrashing.
Newcastle offered Coutinho an escape route out of Camp Nou and have now received an answer. The Daily Mail, citing reports in the Spanish press, write that Coutinho has rejected their proposal.
The 29-year-old wants to remain with Barca in an attempt to kickstart his career there. He believes he can impress new manager Xavi and become a regular starter.
The star will not be leaving Spain this winter. But if his situation does not change by the end of the campaign, then both the club and player will reconsider their stance.
Coutinho has made 101 appearances for the Blaugrana in all competitions, scoring 24 goals.
Pundit warns Howe, Newcastle of price hikes
Meanwhile, former defender Alan Hutton reckons Newcastle will have to deal with price hikes during 2022.
He also suggested the positions which Howe could look to improve in the upcoming transfer window.
“It’s all about staying up”, he told Football Insider. “You have to get the right sort of players through the door. It’s about identifying where you’re at your weakest.
“I think defensively, that’s where they’ve struggled. That’s where I’d be targeting.
“The thing that you need to be wary of is there’s going to be a premium, I think, when Newcastle are coming in for players.
“It’s a case of: ‘Okay, they’ve got new owners with a lot of money. The price is going up £10million’. That’s something they’re going to have to deal with as a club.”