Not only have Sky Sports confirmed that Diego Carlos has officially asked to leave Sevilla, they are also reporting that our attempts to agree a deal with the La Liga side have reached an ‘advanced stage.’
So, that deal seems to be progressing very well, with the player determined to make the move happen and Toon chiefs ‘pushing hard’, however Sky reckon we’re also looking to bring in another centre-back AND a striker.
They’ve confirmed – via their colleagues at Sky Italy – that we’ve had an initial bid rejected for Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata, with us believed to have offered a £4m loan fee that included an obligation to buy the Colombian for £22m if we stay up.
That said, Sky presenter Pete Graves also claims we are keen on Benfica goal-machine Darwin Nunez, but insists there is ‘work to do’ to bring either to St James’ Park while the risk of relegation remains huge.
As for our centre-back search, Sky’s Dharmesh Sheth reports that we are still keen on Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile, but could turn to Fenerbahce’s highly-rated Attila Szalai if the Frenchman’s recent injury sees us end our interest until the summer.
Here’s what’s been said on all of the above, starting with Pete Graves’ promising transfer update this teatime:
Kaveh Solhekol on Duvan Zapata:
“Our colleagues at Sky Italia are reporting Newcastle have tried to sign Duvan Zapata, the Atalanta striker.
“They’re saying Newcastle’s offer was €5m for a loan, with an option to buy for €26m.
“Sky Italia are saying the operation was ‘impossible’ with these figures.
“Atalanta will only change their minds should Newcastle come back with an increased offer.”
Dharmesh Sheth on Badiashile and Szalai:
“There still remains an interest in Benoit Badiashile, but there’s two issues with that – he’s currently injured, and it depends how long that keeps him out for – there’s been anything rumoured from two to three weeks up to seven to eight weeks.
“The transfer fee makes it difficult to do in this window, not impossible but difficult, and that means it could be one for Newcastle to revisit in the summer, depending on the price but also which division Newcastle are in.
“Another name on a long shortlist is the Hungary defender Attila Szalai.
“He’s a left-footed defender, with a lot of European clubs in the market for a left-footed central defender.”