According to the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, Steve Bruce is planning to sign a striker, a winger and a midfielder this month – but it seems he’ll have to cash in on Dwight Gayle if he wants all three.
Edwards’ latest transfer ‘exclusive‘ also names a whole host of players we have looked at ahead of the window.
These include striker Mbwana Samatta (Genk), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Dwight McNeil (Burnley), Jarrod Bowen (Hull), Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) and Jude Bellingham (Birmingham), while Scottish talent Reagan Thomson is a player we are ‘hoping’ to sign for our development squad.
Interestingly, Edwards states that Bowen would be ‘would like to make the move’ to St James’ Park.
That said, it sounds like deals for several of the senior players mentioned may hinge on us receiving our £15m asking price for Dwight Gayle, with any sale seeming key to Bruce’s hopes of signing three players given our current budget is said to be £20m before sales.
Here’s what Edwards has had to say in his latest exclusive for the Telegraph:
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce believes he needs three players in January to give the squad the extra quality and depth needed to maintain their challenge for a top-10 finish.
But his hopes of bringing in so many players will largely depend on whether anyone matches the £15million asking price for striker Dwight Gayle and he does not believe that is a deal any Championship club can afford.
Newcastle are keen on Liverpool’s Adam Lallana, who will be out of contract in the summer, but know there will be plenty of offers put to the England international and he is likely to wait until the end of the season to decide on his future.
In the short term, Bruce’s main priority is to sign another central midfielder, although Newcastle have also drawn up a shortlist of attacking players. Genk striker Mbwana Samatta has been discussed, as has Burnley winger Dwight McNeil.
Newcastle had looked into the possibility of signing England international Danny Drinkwater on loan, as well as Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, but both deals now seem unlikely, highlighting how difficult it is to do business in the winter window.
Although Drinkwater is set to be recalled by Chelsea from his loan at Burnley, Bruce is wary of signing a player who has played so little first-team football over the last two years.
Newcastle were privately confident they would be able to arrange a loan for Xhaka at the start of December, but hopes have faded following Mikel Arteta’s appointment as manager as he wants to keep the Switzerland international.
Bruce remains keen on Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen, which would appear to be a realistic target, even though the Championship club are trying to resist the temptation to sell their star player. The England Under-21 international would like to make the move.
Newcastle, who have around £20m to spend, are monitoring Birmingham City youngster Jude Bellingham as he enjoys a stunning first season in the Championship and are also hoping to sign another 16-year-old, Queens Park youngster Reagan Thomson, although he would go into the development squad.
Bruce has consistently played down Newcastle’s chances of success in the January window, but he is now working hard to get deals done and has been told he will be backed if he can find the right players.
So much, though, will depend on who leaves and although midfielder Ki Sung-yueng is likely to be sold, there are others who need to be moved on. Jack Colback and Henri Saivet could leave on a free if they can agree a compensation package to terminate their contracts early, but Gayle’s situation is far more complex.
As revealed by Telegraph Sport earlier this month, Gayle has attracted interest from Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion, but Newcastle have not received any bids and are not interested in a loan deal.
Privately, the Magpies hierarchy are sceptical anyone in the Championship will be able to afford Gayle, as they would also have to offer him wages of more than £50,000-a-week to get him to leave St James’ Park.
At the age of 29, Gayle wants to play regularly, but has only made one Premier League start all season and did not impress in a 4-1 defeat at Manchester United on Boxing Day.