According to the Northern Echo, Mike Ashley is prepared to hand Steve Bruce a January transfer budget of ‘around £25m‘.
The same piece also claims that versatile Sevilla attacker Rony Lopes is a leading target for the club, stating that we could be set to make a ‘formal approach’ to sign the Portuguese winger in the new year.
The Chronicle confirmed our interest in the former Monaco star earlier this week. It seemed a move that was destined to fail given he’d only just completed a £18m move to Sevilla last month, however Scott Wilson’s latest piece for the Echo reveals how his start to life in Spain has not gone to plan.
Here’s a snippet from the Northern Echo’s latest piece on the transfer front:
‘STEVE BRUCE will step up his planning for the January transfer window this week, with Sevilla winger Rony Lopes holding a prominent position in his thoughts.
‘Bruce will meet Newcastle’s head of recruitment, Steve Nickson, to discuss his plans for the turn of the year, with a budget of around £25m set to be available for squad strengthening. The Magpies spent around £60m on signing Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and Emil Krafth this summer, but received £30m from the sale of Ayoze Perez, with the bulk of that money remaining in the kitty.
‘Lopes is regarded as a leading target, with Newcastle’s scouting team having sent a senior delegation to watch the 23-year-old on a number of occasions in the last 12 months.
‘The early stages of his Sevilla career have not gone to plan, with former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui handing him just 11 minutes of senior football in the first month of the season.
‘Lopes was not even named in Sevilla’s matchday squad for three of their opening four league matches, with Lopetegui once again omitting him from his 18-man party for Sunday’s 1-0 win at Alaves.
‘Newcastle are aware of the winger’s struggles to establish himself with the current La Liga leaders, and are set to make a formal approach towards the end of the year if the situation does not change.
‘The Magpies would be open to either a permanent or loan move, with Bruce keen to add further options in the wide areas. Newcastle’s lack of depth in the wide positions has been highlighted by the injuries that have sidelined both Matt Ritchie and Allan Saint-Maximin in the early weeks of the season.‘
The 23-year-old may just be available in January if his time in Spain happens to go from bad to worse, but I still struggle to see Sevilla letting go of a player they’ve just paid big money for.
He bagged a stunning 17 goals and 12 assists for Monaco during the 2017/18 season, but struggled to make the same impact last year, bagging just 4 goals and 2 assists.
The Portuguese international fits into Mike Ashley’s buying policy, however it remains to be seen if Sevilla will be willing to do business so soon after signing him.