Transfer Talk: Five realistic January targets for cash-happy Newcastle
Newcastle’s eagerly anticipated £305million takeover is finally complete — ending Mike Ashley’s 14-year reign on Tyneside.
With the news, social media has been flooded with potential big-name signings that the Saudi-led consortium could sanction to bolster the Magpies squad.
A host of the world’s best players have been linked with switches to Newcastle, including Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, but most names are fanciful — for the time being.
Instead, we take a look at five potential players that could realistically be on their way to St James’ Park.
The Magpies’ new owners are reportedly already in talks with the representatives of wantaway Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
It was not too long ago that the Brazilian, 29, was one of the Premier League’s best players but his move to Catalonia has not panned out the way he would have wanted.
Coutinho was shipped out on loan to Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 season and made just 12 LaLiga appearances for Barca last term.
The signing would represent a great move for all parties — a Premier League return for Coutinho and a statement of intent for the Magpies as they bring in a household name.
With Newcastle so reliant on Allan Saint-Maximin for chance creation — only Matt Ritchie (21) can beat his 16 opportunities laid on for team-mates — bringing the Brazilian to Tyneside would lift the burden on Saint-Maximin.
Newcastle have a severe lack of firepower, drawing a blank 12 times in the Premier League last term.
If the Magpies are to reach the league's upper echelons, there will need to be additions in the striking department where only Callum Wilson (12) hit double figures last term.
Luka Jovic is another name that has been touted with moving to Tyneside. The Real Madrid striker has struggled in the Spanish capital and has been vying for a move away.
The new project in the North East may entice Jovic, who scored 27 goals in all competitions in 2018-19 for Eintracht Frankfurt.
It was the Serbian striker's form with Die Adler which tempted Real Madrid to spend £51million to sign him in the summer of 2019.
But Jovic has made just 12 starts since and spent the second half of last season back on loan at Frankfurt.
Still just 23, Jovic is a nippy, mobile and tenacious forward whose physicality would be at home in the Premier League.
The third name on the list is a player that has already been linked with the Magpies in previous transfer windows.
Boubacar Kamara has been one of Ligue 1’s standout midfielders in the past 18 months and would fit perfectly into the long-term project that Newcastle’s owners are set to build.
Kamara, 21, has made more than 100 Ligue 1 appearances and was linked with Manchester United and AC Milan in the summer.
The Magpies made a last-ditch attempt on transfer deadline day to sign Leicester's Hamza Choudhury, suggesting they want midfield reinforcements.
Kamara is three years Choudhury’s junior and possesses Champions League experience — something the new owners have promised to deliver to Toon fans.
He ranks ninth among all Ligue 1 midfielders for completed passes (60.36 per 90 minutes) and 10th for complete final-third passes (14.18), illustrating his quality in possession.
A potential signing from closer to home is Norwich right-back Max Aarons, 21.
The Magpies have previous when it comes to buying from Norfolk after signing full-back partner Jamal Lewis two summers ago.
Aarons may not be a household name but he has previously impressed in the Premier League and Norwich rebuffed an offer from Arsenal in the summer.
The right-back already looks Championship-bound once more with the Canaries in a relegation dogfight and resisting further bids could prove difficult.
The Magpies currently have Javier Manquilo playing at right-back but Aarons would be a significant upgrade and already bests the Spaniard for chances created, take-ons, passes, crosses and interceptions.
Another potential midfield reinforcement is Sheffield United’s Sander Berge.
If reports are to be believed, Berge was on his way to join Manchester United last January before the Blades hijacked the move at the 11th hour.
Berge, 23, is now stranded in the Championship following the Blades' relegation.
In the Premier League last term, Berge ranked 16th for big chances created per 90 minutes (0.16) among all central midfielders.
The Norwegian midfielder is rumoured to be available for a cut-price fee as the Blades look to offload him from their hefty wage bill, aiding Newcastle's bid to stay in touch with Financial Fair Play.