There were some concerns the recently dubbed ‘world’s richest football club’ might be held to ransom in the transfer market, but Newcastle are so far proving to be shrewd operators.
Even after their blockbuster takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the Magpies were still in the midst of a relegation battle despite Eddie Howe’s arrival, but it only took one window for everything to change.
The January signings of Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Matt Targett and Dan Burn instantly paid dividends, with Newcastle going from Championship-bound to future Champions League contenders in weeks.
And that all came without breaking their transfer record, with that policy looking to continue into the coming season where they could even stage an assault on the top six.
To do that, there are still plenty of upgrades needed, one of which is in goal, which looks set to be filled immediately by Burnley’s England international Nick Pope.
Due to the 30-year-old having just a year left on his contract, talkSPORT sources understand a fee has been agreed for as little as £10million for a shot-stopper who has regularly stood-out in the Premier League over the last five seasons.
Two long-term targets are still complicated though, with reinforcements needed both up front and at the back, Newcastle’s candidates are clear.
The Magpies were believed to have made a solid push for Lille’s Dutch defender Sven Botman during January, but as is usually the case with players from the club in northern France, there’s plenty of interest around.
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Howe’s side are still front runners though, but The Athletic report that Newcastle are growing irritated at the amount of time it’s taking to sign a player they’ve been chasing for six months.
The same can be said for Reims striker Hugo Ekitike who has appeared on the verge of a move to St James Park for much of the year, but the deal has yet to get over the line.
The highly-rated 20-year-old is seen as a huge prospect for the future, and now that competitors Borussia Dortmund have turned their attention to Sebastien Haller, a deal could finally be on its way.
With Ekitike and Botman still first choice options for the Magpies, it is reported that the right wing is the next area of need, with Bayer Leverkusen’s £50m Moussa Diaby top of the list.
Leeds winger Jack Harrison could be an alternative but price is an issue, much like the situation with free agent Jesse Lingard who is still on the radar.
So far though, Newcastle appear well set to manoeuvre any sort of chaotic splurge, and are keen not to be held to ransom in their attempts to offer Howe a first-choice eleven that could battler for a European place.
How Newcastle could look next season
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