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Report: Newcastle’s transfer plans revealed (Part II)

Transfer targets to improve all lines: defenders, midfielders, and forwards on Newcastle’s radar

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Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

On Wednesday morning, a very saucy report emerged detailing some of the lines being followed by Newcastle’s board for upcoming transfer markets.

Chris Waugh of The Athletic ($) cooked a very comprehensive report in which he shared all of the information he could obtain from different sources close to Newcastle regarding the club plans for improving the squad in future transfer markets.

We have gathered the most important bits from the full report and will share some information with you here, split into two halves.

This is the second part of our summary, focusing on different transfer targets identified by Newcastle and revealed by The Athletic in their report covering all three (defense, midfield, forward) lines on the pitch.

The first part of our two posts covered the overall approach of Newcastle to future transfer markets and how different things can impact them, as well as the type of player and skill set prioritized by Eddie Howe.

Defenders under consideration

Newcastle focused on strengthening the back part of the team during the first two transfer windows after the Saudi-backed takeover of the club.

Nick Pope (goalkeepers), Dan Burn and Sven Botman (center-backs), and Kieran Trippier and Matt Target (wing-backs) all arrived through the first two transfer periods after Eddie Howe took charge of the team.

The defensive additions didn’t stop there, with Harrison Ashby (right-back) and Loris Karius (goalkeeper) bolstering the defensive unit of Newcastle this past January.

According to Waugh, Newcastle are still looking for new defensive arrivals that can “provide increased tactical options,” most prominently “a strong, ball-playing, ideally right-sided center-half” that can compete with Fabian Schar for minutes, and “an offensive-minded left-back” to strengthen that position.

Last summer, Newcastle tracked Renan Lodi—then of Atletico Madrid, now on loan at Nottingham Forest—as a potential reinforcement for the left-back position. The report mentions him as “featuring during conversations” of late among Newcastle staff members.

Scottland international Kieran Tierney is also “being monitored” as we already reported yesterday by way of Ben Jacobs’ latest newsletter.

Another player Newcastle are seemingly tracked, reported by Waugh, is Antonee Robinson of Fulham.

Options to improve the midfield

Eddie Howe wants to increase the number of players available for the midfield positions (currently three in his 4-3-3 setup), but he “will not just accept any addition.”

According to Waugh’s information, Howe “received plenty of names offered to him” last winter as they “didn’t meet the standards the coach requires.”

It is believed that Newcastle would be most interested in adding a “dynamic (No 6) defensive midfielder,” as well as a “creative (No 8, box-to-box) midfielder.”

Waugh name-drops Leicester City’s James Maddison as a “top of Newcastle’s list” type of target, considering he can play different offensive roles while also fitting into the “hybrid midfielder-forward target” identified and preferred by Howe.

A teammate of Maddison, Yuri Tielemans, was also rumored to be of interest to Newcastle in the past (his current deal with Leicester runs out next June) but “it is unclear” whether or not previews attempts to sign Tielemans “will be revived,” writes Waugh, mostly because of his wage demands are seen as a “concern” by Newcastle.

Another target that could enter that concerning territory is Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, who is said to be “a favorite of Howe.” An under-the-radar target that “has caught the eye of Newcastle” is also Bristol City’s Alex Scott, aged 19 years old.

Finally, Waugh writes that Brighton’s midfielder Moises Caicedo is “greatly admired,” although he “may prove too expensive given the competition” to sign the South American that will be in future transfer windows.

A few more names made it into Waugh’s report, including a “well-liked” Ajax’s Edson Alvarez, Man Utd’s Scott McTominay (“Howe values his experience and physicality”), Fulham’s Joao Palhinha, Everton’s Amadou Onana, and Wolverhampton’s Ruben Neves (“admired for his passing range and shooting, but not as athletic as some alternatives”).

According to Waugh’s gathered information, “midfielders in Germany and France are being watched extensively” by Newcastle’s scouts, too.

Forward targets

Finally, Newcastle will be hunting for goalscorers and attackers to bolster their offense next summer.

According to Waugh, Howe thinks that Newcastle “need investment to push the team on” when it comes to “disturbing” the top teams of the English Premier League, and if the Tyneside organization really want to make a serious case to break into the “Big Six.”

Howe has targeted “adaptable forwards,” also prioritizing players that can “play in multiple positions.”

Some players included in Waugh’s report are Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams (“considered a genuine alternative to Anthony Gordon in January and watched since”), Watford’s Joao Pedro (“who Newcastle made offers for last summer and who is viewed as a raw talent with great potential”), and Nott Forest’s Brennan Johnson (“also liked”).

Of course, Waugh reported what we already know in saying that highly-coveted players around Europe such as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Napoli, and Rapihna of Barcelona, are “less attainable names” in Newcastle’s list.