Between their mounting injury problems and Sandro Tonali’s long-term suspension, Newcastle United’s squad has looked increasingly threadbare in recent weeks – which is where the January transfer window could come in handy.
The addition of European football, plus a continued run in the League Cup, has pushed Eddie Howe’s squad to its limits, stressing the need for reinforcements. Recent weeks have seen academy prospects with no first-team experience and multiple goalkeepers named on his bench.
The addition of European competition We’ve taken a closer look at seven players that Newcastle have been tipped to try and sign in the winter window.
The Times report that a loan move for Phillips is top of the club’s priority list this January. And they’re not the only reputable outlet saying that Newcastle’s interest in the England international is real.
“It’s clear that the key focus is that midfield position to replace Sandro Tonali,” stated David Ornstein on The Athletic Football Podcast.
“Whether it be on a temporary basis or a permanent addition to that group of players.
“I do think we should keep an eye on Kalvin Phillips at Manchester City — there will be other options too.”
It’s increasingly clear at this point that Pep Guardiola just does not fancy Phillips. His only start for Man City this season was in the League Cup defeat to Newcastle.
The Catalan coach sounds open to letting Phillips leave in January. You imagine he’ll seek a move in order to secure his spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2024 next summer.
Pep on Kalvin Phillips’ future:
“Until winter time he will be here, after that I don’t know what will happen. When the transfer is open, nobody knows.”
— City Chief (@City_Chief) October 20, 2023
The above Times report mentioned Ekitike as Newcastle’s other top target for the upcoming winter window.
Regular readers of the gossip columns will remember Newcastle closely pursuing the French striker when he was still at Reims. He ended up moving to PSG, but has fallen down the pecking order following their summer signings and has played just nine minutes of Ligue 1 football this season.
However, TEAMtalk now report that the Magpies will cool their interest in Ekitike, as they instead turn their attention to…
One of the stories of the season so far, Guirassy has been on fire for Stuttgart. The Guinea international has scored 15 goals in 10 Bundesliga appearances, and only Harry Kane has scored more goals across Europe’s major leagues.
It’s believed that there’s a release clause in his current contract with Stuttgart worth just €17.5million. That would present a bargain opportunity for one of the most in-form strikers around.
The Guinea international, 27, is “one of the preferred options to strengthen Newcastle’s attack” according to Italian journalist Rudy Galetti. Sounds like there could be something in this one; watch this space.
As news emerged of Tonali’s suspension and the need for Newcastle to bolster their midfield became clear, a number of outlets suggested they were eyeing up a move for Neves, who only moved from Wolves to Saudi Public Investment Fund-backed Al Hilal in the summer.
The speculation led to all kind of noise in the media and a motion between Premier League clubs, but they actually voted against a temporary ban on loan deals between teams with the same ownership in the January transfer window – meaning that Newcastle are technically still free to sign the Portugal international should they so wish.
However, recent weeks have seen links between Neves and Newcastle quieten down considerably. There have been suggestions that the interest was never really there in the first place, with some opportunistic tabloids putting two and two together with the Saudi connection.
Worth taking any Neves rumours with a massive pinch of salt. The Athletic have quashed reports that he’ll depart Al Hilal in January.
Fichajes report that Newcastle are considering a move for Todibo, who has been outstanding at the heart of Europe’s best defence this season – a pivotal part of them registering eight successive clean sheets in Ligue 1.
A potentially major snag in such a deal is Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s imminent involvement at Manchester United. He also owns Nice and it wouldn’t make a great deal of sense for him to sanction one of his star assets going to one of the Red Devils’ top four rivals.
In fact, Manchester United themselves have increasingly been linked with Todibo. What was that about moving players between clubs that share the same ownership?
A team-mate of Todibo’s at Nice, the same Ratcliffe-shaped headache applies – though Manchester United aren’t said to be competition for this one.
Son of Les Bleus legend Lilian and younger brother of Inter forward Marcus, Khephren is the latest member of the Thuram dynasty. The 22-year-old midfielder earned his first France cap earlier this year and looks destined for big things.
He was strongly linked with a move to Tyneside in the summer, but ended up staying put. It’s said that he remains a long-term target for Newcastle.
Talked up as the next great midfielder out of Spain, 20-year-old Guerra doesn’t have a wealth of experience but he’s started regularly for Valencia this season and caught the eye as a youngster with lots of potential.
He only signed a four-year contract extension with Los Che back in May, making a January deal difficult, but Newcastle – and Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham – are said to be closely scouting the prospect.
Valencia’s sporting director Miguel Angel Correa has been staunch in his commitment to keep hold of the wonderkid.
“It is not in our plans to sell him to any club,” he recently told the Daily Mail.
“Our future plans involve continuing to give him the appropriate condition so that he is able to develop his full potential under Ruben Baraja, become an important player and continue to build a Valencia team of the immediate future around players like him.”
One for the future, perhaps.