NEWCASTLE UNITED are ready to make an early summer move for Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly as they look to reinforce their central-defensive options ahead of next season.

The Magpies’ recruitment team have been reassessing their transfer priorities in the wake of the cruciate-ligament injuries that will sideline both Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles until well into the autumn.

There was already a desire to reinforce the heart of the back four in the summer, but the need for at least one new centre-half has become more pressing in the last couple of months, with Kelly currently topping the list of targets.

The 25-year-old has rejected the offer of a new deal at the Vitality Stadium, and is set to leave as a free agent at the end of the current campaign.

Newcastle will have to pay a significant signing-on fee in order to lure him to St James’ Park, but given the club’s need to remain on the right side of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability regulations, the lure of being able to pick up an established top-flight defender without having to shell out an eight-figure transfer fee is obvious.

Eddie Howe has previous experience of working with Kelly as he was the Bournemouth manager who sanctioned the defender’s £13m signing from Bristol City in 2019.


While primarily a centre-half, Kelly, who has been limited to 14 Premier League starts this season, can also play at left-back, with his versatility adding to his appeal given Newcastle’s desire to increase their options in both positions this summer.

The Magpies considered moving for the former England Under-21 international in January, but have bided their time in the knowledge that he was likely to allow his current contract to expire.

Newcastle are also considering a move for Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo, another centre-half who could become a free agent this summer.

Fulham are desperately trying to persuade Adarabioyo to sign a new deal at Craven Cottage, and are understood to be offering the 26-year-old a significant increase on his current terms in an attempt to retain his services.

However, the former Manchester City academy product has so far refused to pen a new deal, raising hopes within Newcastle’s recruitment operation that he could also be available for a limited outlay once the transfer window reopens.

Adarabioyo, who joined Fulham for £2m in 2020, will be heavily in demand if he opts to move on from the Cottagers, but Newcastle have scouted him extensively over the last couple of seasons and feel they would have a good chance of persuading him to move to St James’ Park.

The Magpies are gearing up for a busy summer that is likely to see plenty of movement, both in and out of the club. Martin Dubravka, Matt Targett, Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson could all be sacrificed in order to create an opportunity to bring in new signings.

Newcastle do not want to lose either Bruno Guimaraes or Alexander Isak, but the former has a £100m buyout clause in his contract that means his current employers are not in complete control of his destiny.