The Athletic reveal 12 names on NUFC’s radar – ‘£70m’ budget cut but 4 deals eyed up

An insightful piece on the transfer front has emerged from The Athletic this week, revealing several names being considered by the club’s recruitment team.

While the signing of a ‘goalscoring striker’ is said to have been prioritised (no surprises there!), Chris Waugh’s piece highlights that moves for a left-back, ‘box to box’ midfielder and winger are also being eyed up.

On that subject, he reports that French duo Boubakary Soumare and Arnaud Lusamba have beeb approached, although the latter (available on a free) seems a far more realistic midfield option than a £35m-rated Soumare – especially when the piece reveals how a previously agreed summer budget of around £70m has been cut in half thanks to COVID-19.

Moving into the final third, The Athletic also name QPR star Eberechi Eze as a player we’re showing interest in, along with EIGHT strikers who are believed to be high on our recruitment team’s agenda:

  • Josh King (Bournemouth)
  • Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
  • Patrick Schick (Roma)
  • Paco Alcacer (Villarreal)
  • Alfredo Morelos (Rangers)
  • Odsonne Edouard (Celtic)
  • Moussa Dembele (Lyon)
  • Everton Soares (Gremio)

Bounrmemouth duo Josh King and Callum Wilson are described by Waugh as the sort of “out and out strikers” with Premier League experience that Bruce wants, but admits that their age (both 28) and likely price tags (expected to be over £20m) could see the clubs hierarchy assess other options.

As for European options, The Athletic claim that Patrik Schick has been ‘watched regularly’, while Villarreal’s 26-year-old Spaniard Paco Alcacer is said to be someone who remains in our thoughts after being looked at in January.

Elsewhere, Waugh writes that SPL goal machines Alfredo Morelos and Odsonne Edouard have been in our thoughts for a ‘long period’, while Bruce is a big fan of Lyon’s Moussa Dembele – although a move for him would surely take up the best part of our entire £35m transfer budget?!

And finally on the subject of strikers, Brazilian forward Everton Soares is also said to be a player Steve Nickson has spent time watching during scouting trips to South America.

Last but not least, The Athletic reveal that “potential loans and free transfers have featured prominently during early transfer discussions”, which is no surprise given we’ll be forced to box smart this summer and sign on a budget.

For me, a few of the targets mentioned seem just the sort of players we need to spruce up our toothless front line, yet I can’t help but question how realistic (or unrealistic in this case!) some of them are if we’ve got little over £35m to spend on three or four…

Either way, it’s absolutely essential the right striker arrives this summer. We got away with it last season, but failure to add goals to this side could prove disastrous ahead of 2020/21.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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