A few days after an ‘exclusive’ from Football Insider claimed we were looking to sign Mason Holgate, a slightly more reliable source is now suggesting that our interest in the Everton defender is genuine.
This comes from David Ornstein’s latest piece for The Athletic, who confirms that ourselves, Sheffield United and Bournemouth are all watching the ‘£14-rated’ Englishman ahead of the January transfer window.
He claims that we are looking to ‘strengthen at the back’ next month – despite having SIX capable centre-backs on our books – and believes Bruce is a fan of his versatility.
Here’s a snippet from his latest piece for The Athletic, confirming our interest but insisting the Blues are ‘highly reluctant to sell’:
‘Mason Holgate is attracting interest from a host of suitors before the January transfer window. Rated at £14 million, the Everton defender is being watched by Sheffield United, Newcastle and Bournemouth.
‘Those three clubs are looking at strengthening at the back when the window opens, and Holgate’s ability to play comfortably in a back three has seen him added to their transfer wish lists.
‘But Everton would be highly reluctant to sell, given the only other senior centre-backs on their books are Yerry Mina and Michael Keane. In fact, Everton would look to buy a centre-back themselves.
‘Holgate — who is under contract until 2022 — filled in further up the pitch in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday, slotting into the midfield due to an injury crisis.
‘Duncan Ferguson said Holgate was “outstanding, incredible,” adding: “With the injuries we have it was only this morning I said to him, ‘I might have to put you in central midfield.’ He is a real leader now, Mason.“‘
I’m sure most Newcastle fans took this link with a real pinch of salt when Football Insider’s ‘exclusive’ emerged last Friday, however it sounds like he is actually a player we are looking at.
That said, I still have real doubts about this one, with us not only needing to spend our limited budget on attacking flair and goal scorers, but it also seeming like Everton will be highly unlikely to do business.
He can play at centre-back, right-back and as a holding midfielder – as he proved at Old Trafford yesterday – but would a £14m move for him really make sense next month?