KIERAN TRIPPIER became the first signing of Newcastle United’s new Saudi Arabia-backed era when he moved to Tyneside from Atletico Madrid last week, but the Magpies are set to make a number of other additions before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

What areas are they targeting? And, with a host of names having been linked in the last few days, who is set to sign at St James’ Park?


Trippier’s arrival might have improved things at right-back, but Eddie Howe remains determined to strengthen his backline by adding at least one new centre-half this month.

Sven Botman remains the Magpies’ preferred option, and while Lille have already rejected two bids for the 21-year-old, Newcastle’s recruitment team are ready to return to the negotiating table.

Having previously suggested that Botman was not for sale at any price, Lille officials shifted their stance at the weekend by indicating they would be willing to do business for £45m. That would represent a new transfer record for the Magpies, and with Amanda Staveley adamant she does not want the club to be seen as easy to exploit, it remains to be seen whether Newcastle will meet Lille’s asking price.

Newcastle have spoken to Burnley about Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, both of whom are due to become free agents in the summer, but Sean Dyche is adamant he will not be selling any of his key defenders to a relegation rival.

Perhaps Sevilla’s Diego Carlos will turn out to be the answer to the Magpies’ centre-half problem. The Brazilian cost €15m when he joined Sevilla from Nantes in 2019, and while his value has risen significantly since, he remains a cheaper option than Botman.

At the start of the month, Newcastle were targeting Lucas Digne to improve things at left-back, but having rejected the opportunity to speak with the Magpies, the Everton defender is set to join Aston Villa.


With Newcastle’s priorities lying at either end of the pitch, midfield is an area that was not expected to receive much attention this month. It is not at the forefront of Howe’s thoughts, but movement is still possible before the window closes.

Rafael Benitez wants to take Sean Longstaff to Everton, and if the Magpies opt to sell, Howe might well decide to recruit a midfield replacement. Todd Cantwell is a different player to Longstaff, but it could be a case of ‘one out, one in’, with Newcastle having held talks about the Norwich midfielder, who has entered the final six months of his contract at Carrow Road.

Norwich are hoping to receive £15m for Cantwell, perhaps an optimistic valuation given his contractual situation, but Newcastle are one of two Premier League clubs to have held talks.


Had Callum Wilson not suffered a calf injury that will keep him on the sidelines for the next eight weeks, Newcastle might well have steered away from targeting a striker this month. With Wilson out of action, however, recruiting the right forward could hold the key to the Magpies’ hopes of staying up.

Amanda Staveley and her advisors have put feelers out in a number of different areas in the last few days, but have encountered stiff resistance on pretty much every front.

Liverpool do not lose want to lose Divock Origi while Mo Salah and Sadio Mane are at the Africa Cup of Nations, and similarly, Arsenal do not want to release Eddie Nketiah while there is a huge question mark over the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is also competing in Africa with Gabon.

Aubameyang is a potential loan target himself, but given that the AFCON group stage does not finish until almost a fortnight’s time, the Arsenal striker is not a particularly attractive option given Newcastle’s need for immediate improvement.

Burnley’s Chris Wood would fill a gap, although prising him from Turf Moor will be difficult and his performances this season have hardly set the world alight. Dominic Solanke has been scoring goals in the Championship with Bournemouth, but throwing him straight into the Premier League would be a risky move.

Going abroad is arguably even riskier, although it might have to be a route Newcastle take. Gabriel Barbosa is available if Flamengo decide the price is right, while the Magpies have also been linked with Zenit St Petersburg’s Sardar Azmoun and Bayer Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick.