With the January transfer window fast approaching, speculation is unsurprisingly mounting around St James’ Park regarding potential in-comings and outgoings. With the likes of Porto midfielder Hector Herrera, and young Rangers man Josh Windass both having been strongly linked over recent weeks, two more names can be added to the list this week, with Rafa Benitez reportedly keen to add firepower to his squad, despite his side being a point clear at the top of the Championship table. Meanwhile, having turned down a new contract with Premier League side Hull City, Robert Snodgrass has been linked with a move to Newcastle, with a deal worth in the region of £5 million being touted.
Despite already boasting the biggest and arguably best squad in the division, Newcastle are believed to be looking to add quality in several areas, as they prepare for what they hope will be a return to the Premier League next year. On-loan Chelsea winger Christian Atsu will depart for the African Cup of Nations in January, and Benitez is eyeing a move for his Stamford Bridge colleague Ruben Loftus-Cheek to replace him. However, with competition for places so high at St James’ Park, guaranteeing the England Under-21 man game time could be an issue. However, having already played for the West London side under Antonio Conte this season, his arrival in the North East could serve to only shorten their already overwhelming odds with the bookies to win the Championship. Get better odds now for the season winner at Betway, where Newcastle are just 1.31/1 on.
With many predicting a return to the top-flight for Newcastle, it comes as little surprise that Benitez and his staff are hunting for players ready for the Premier League. Snodgrass would undoubtedly be a player to fit the bill, with the Scotland international having been one of Hull’s best players during the current campaign. Meanwhile, Newcastle face Birmingham City in the FA Cup third round in January, and although Benitez is unlikely to prioritise the tournament, Betway have installed the Magpies as the 51/1 outsiders for the trophy.
Meanwhile, Newcastle received some welcome news this week, and despite being without Chancel Mbemba, Mohamed Diame and Atsu due to the African Cup of Nations, Moroccan midfielder Achraf Lazaar has been left out of his nations squad for the tournament. Cheik Tiote could well receive a call-up, although it would appear unlikely.