After a long back and forth and a few months of deliberating, Newcastle United announced yesterday the addition of Matt Targett on a permanent basis to the Toon. The left full-back has reportedly signed a four-year deal that will see him play in black and white threads until the summer of 2026 when his newly-inked deal runs out.
Targett first arrived in Tyneside last January from Aston Villa on a rest-of-season loan with both clubs agreeing on a future sell clause available until mid-June in case Newcastle wanted to add Targett on a permanent basis. The Magpies activated it and a full £15 million have been paid to Aston Villa between the original fee (three million) and the latest one (an extra £12).
As we reported earlier this morning, via The Times, it was understood that Longstaff was willing to sign a four-year extension with Newcastle. Ultimately, the midfielder decided to ink a three-year deal instead, covering his age-25 through age-27 seasons.
While Newcastle officially announced the addition of new sporting director Dan Ashworth to the club staff as recently as last week, this deal has been pursued and wanted to be completed by head coach Eddie Howe. The coach was the main man chasing Targett last January to bolster the defensive line and he—and not Ashworth—was the main reason for engineering the permanent move of the defender to Tyneside this June.
Ashworth, though, is considered to have blessed Howe’s decision of adding Targett over other, more expensive, and Premier League-unproven players such as Atletico Madrid’s Renan Lodi. Lodi and any other players thought of earlier to strengthen Targett’s position are now off the scouting and Newcastle transfer-target books.
Targett’s 16 games played last season under Howe’s management were all the new coach needed to convince himself to sing the defender to a permanent deal. While not yet an England international but still a young 26-year-old player, Targett has a solid career in his resume already: he started doing it for Southampton’s senior side in 2013, and spent six years there—with a loan spell at Fulham in the 2017-18 season—then moved to Aston Villa in the summer of 2019. After two and a half seasons playing for Villa and the remaining half already at Newcastle throughout the past six months, Targett is now a full-time Magpie.
Speaking to Newcastle United’s in-house reporters, Targett shared a few words after inking his new deal with the Toon.
“I’m absolutely delighted to sign a four-year contract with this club”
“For me, it was an easy decision to make the loan permanent after the welcome I had from my fellow players, the staff, the supporters and the owners so I’m really happy to be here.”
“For me, I hope I could be a part of this club playing in Europe.” “I think we could try and get into Europe in the next few seasons. I think that that’s a massive achievement.”
Putting things in context when it comes to Newcastle’s future after last October’s takeover, Targett said:
“You look at teams like West Ham, Wolves, Leicester, I think they’re the clubs that you want to be aiming for in this next season and establish yourself as a top-half team.”
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be an exciting summer andI can’t wait for the next season to start.”
Head coach Howe, the main brain under this operation, had some thoughts to share about this deal and the future of Targett in the Magpie organization.
“Matt had a fantastic impact after joining on loan in January and made a big contribution to some excellent team performances.”
“He is a great lad and a top professional who undoubtedly makes us stronger so I’m delighted he sees his future here.”
This deal closes the book on the left full-back chase and Newcastle will now move to other pressing issues to solve in the summer transfer market, which is about to open (Jun. 10) in the next few hours. That means finalizing the deal with French youngster Hugo Ekitike—seemingly in the latest negotiating stages—and trying to convince Dutch defenseman Sven Botman of joining the St James’ Park forces after his late rejection of Italian side AC Milan’s deal.
Other names that are making the Newcastle rumors/headlines these days include Nathan Ake, Victor Osimhen, Yannick Carasco, and Dominick Calvert-Lewin, although most (if not all) of them have been reportedly been tagged at massively high prices that will raise doubts on Newcastle’s negotiating willingness this summer.