Newcastle United’s long-awaited takeover has finally gone through, with the club’s new owners expected to be aggressive with their transfer targets. Overnight Newcastle have become the world’s richest club but it seems unlikely they will be able to tempt the likes of Kylian Mbappe or Harry Kane to Tyneside straight away.
While a star or two might arrive in the January transfer window, the priority will be building a team that can be steered away from relegation danger by whoever succeeds Steve Bruce. Here are five realistic transfer targets that might not get Newcastle fans quite as excited as some of the household names who are being linked but which might actually happen.
5 Newcastle transfer targets for January
James Tarkowski (Burnley)
It did not take long for the rumour mill to crank into gear. Reports have suggested Tarkowski could become the first signing of the new era at St. James’ Park. Tarkowski has been one of the most consistent and reliable centre-backs in the Premier League in the last few years, though a lack of international recognition from England remains odd.
With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Tarkowski has already publicly indicated he will be looking to move on from Turf Moor rather than committing to fresh terms. Tarkowski wants European football and while Newcastle cannot offer that just yet, he would at least be guaranteed to play and provide a substantial upgrade on the Magpies’ defence.
Whether or not Burnley would be willing to sell Tarkowski in January to a team that might still be considered a rival in the relegation battle is a different matter.
Aaron Ramsey (Juventus)
More likely to be available when the window reopens is midfielder Ramsey who is also one of the alleged transfer targets for Newcastle. The 30-year-old is on the fringes at Juventus, who like many of Europe’s elite need to slash their wage bill.
Wales international Ramsey has 18 months remaining on his contract in Turin and some reports have claimed Juve will try to use him as a makeweight in a deal to bring back Paul Pogba. A return to the Premier League seems most likely for Ramsey’s next move and he offers both box-to-box playmaking talent and leadership skills, which will be vital for the new Newcastle.
Ramsey took a dig at Juve during the international break when he said his fitness is not a problem when he is “managed correctly”. But would his injury record put Newcastle off?
Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
Having a massive transfer budget in a depressed post-pandemic market will mean Newcastle will have to be canny to avoid agents and clubs taking advantage with their targets.
Newcastle could be seen as an easy pay day by a lot of people but Lingard would be an eminently sensible addition. Having rebuilt his career during a loan spell at West Ham last season, Lingard is still trying to force his way back into the Manchester United team.
Lingard offers a sprinkle of stardust and he still has plenty to prove, unlike expensive unwanted players like Philippe Coutinho and Mauro Icardi who are also being linked to Newcastle.
Eric Bailly, Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek have all been suggested as transfer targets too, but Lingard should be the main priority of those who are available at Old Trafford.
Keylor Navas (PSG)
Goalkeeper has been a problem position for Newcastle this season with injuries keeping Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow on the sidelines and youngster Freddie Woodman struggling. A new stopper should be a priority for Newcastle regardless as Dubravka has been error-prone for club and country, with Costa Rica international Navas potentially available.
PSG brought in Italy’s Euro 2020 hero Gianluigi Donnarumma on a free transfer during the summer and he will presumably be the long-term number one for the Ligue 1 side. That means they could be willing to cash in on Navas, a three-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid, who at 34 still has plenty of years at the top of his game.
Nat Phillips (Liverpool)
Glitzy attackers might get the pulses racing but firm foundations will be important for Newcastle. Bruce’s side have been too defensively open this term and fixing that might be the top priority for the next man in the dugout, assuming he is relieved of his duties soon, as is widely expected.
Phillips impressed when he was given a chance to impress at Liverpool amid a defensive injury crisis but with Virgil van Dijk among those now back to full fitness, his opportunities are limited. After making 20 appearances and helping the Reds recover to seal Champions League qualification, Phillips is now something of a forgotten man at Anfield.
Like Lingard, he has plenty to prove and a move to Newcastle could appeal as a result which is why he should be considered as one of their transfer targets in the short term.
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