In Sky Sports’ Transfer talk Podcast, Pete Graves gives insight into who could come to Newcastle, how much they are willing to spend and who could leave St James’ Park in their biggest window ever…
How much will Newcastle spend this summer?
There is no budget. Some people put a number on it saying they’re going to pay so much. Of course, Financial Fair Play will be a factor, but I don’t think Newcastle are putting a figure on their spending plans at this time. They’ll just see what happens.
What they won’t do is spend too much on people they think has gone up in price just because it’s Newcastle and the Saudi Public Investment Fund. They will not play ball.
They have already done some bargains by securing Matt Targett for £12m, well £15m because they paid £3m on loan last season. They got Kieran Trippier for a small fee and Bruno Guimaraes for £40million, which looks like a bargain now!
Newcastle were quite frugal in January and I expect them to be so again here this summer. They want as many quality players as possible, but they’re not going to overspend. The budget has not yet been set.
After signing Matt Targett from £12million, who are Newcastle’s other big targets this summer?
There is Hugo Ekitike and Sven Botman who are two high quality players in France, they are the two players closest to going through the door.
Newcastle have been linked with Lucas Paqueta of Lyon who is a close friend of Bruno Guimaraes. The midfielder came to spend his birthday with Bruno and was even photographed wearing a Newcastle jersey in Bruno’s garden! It has Newcastle fans excited he is a starting international for Brazil. If they would make a move for him, I’m not sure. I think for Lyon the price should be right. Other big clubs are also interested in Paqueta.
I think Newcastle also want a goalkeeper. They have been mentioned along with a whole host of goalkeepers, including Bernd Leno who goes to Fulham – he was linked in January. Dean Henderson was another who was mentioned, Alphonse Areola, but he could be on his way to West Ham.
All of these players were mentioned as someone who could rival Martin Dubravka for the top spot. They certainly want to add key positions. The right-winger is another player they want to bring in, like Moussa Diaby at Bayer Leverkusen and Ismalia Sarr at Watford. They would like to sign Diaby but they’ve been quoted in the region of £60m, from what I’ve heard, which at this stage would be a little out of their price range.
I think they are going to add a right winger, a maybe two strikers, a central midfielder, a central defender and a goalkeeper – so they want to strengthen all the way through the spine.
Who could leave Newcastle?
There are a lot of players, many of whom didn’t get a squad number last season after Eddie Howe arrived due to a surplus of players.
The likes of Ciaran Clark, Dwight Gayle – who could score loads of goals in the Championship – and if Ekitike comes in then Gayle is the obvious person to move. Middlesbrough has been mentioned as a potential destination for Gayle, he has family in the North East and young children.
Jeff Hendrick is another who could leave, he was loaned last season in the Championship. I hope he will.
There has even been talk of the most experienced players leaving. Players like Federico Fernandez who if Botman comes in he would leave. Some people have suggested that Captain Jamal Lascelles could be seen as someone Eddie Howe might want to take advantage of. There has been talk of Callum Wilson taking the captain’s armband and they also see Kieran Trippier as a leader.
If you want to get rid of Clark, Fernandez and Lascelles, you might want to bring in two centre-backs. It will be interesting to see. There will be one or two that will surprise us when it comes to the start.
The view of France: Ekitike, Botman, Diaby and Nkunku
Once upon a time there was a French Revolution in St James’ Park. During Alan Pardew’s tenure in the early 2010s, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko and Loic Remy all arrived at Newcastle – and they came close to sending the Magpies back to the Champions League.
This summer could see a similar type of influx with the club confident of securing a deal for teenage striker Hugo Ekitike, while France internationals Moussa Diaby and Christopher Nkunku have also been linked with the club. Meanwhile, the club are in talks with Lille over their defender Sven Botman.
To give more information on the French or France-based targets, European football expert Julien Laurens appeared on the Transfer talk podcast to discuss these goals:
Hugo Ekitike“For Hugo, it’s too early to start thinking he’s going to start 38 Premier League games and score tons of goals because he’s only 19 and he’s only had one breakthrough season in League 1.
“However, he is one of the most ambitious young players I have seen in a very long time. He knows what he wants and his abilities too.
“No one expected him to do so well in Ligue 1, he had injuries and worked in a fairly defensive team. For him to score all those goals in a defensive team is quite remarkable.
“I have no doubt he will go to Newcastle and think: Callum Wilson as No.1 but I’m better than Chris Wood. Eddie Howe will want to do it right. I think he’s a very good star. »
Sven Botman: “I think Eddie is also a big Botman fan and rightly so. He’s a left-footed centre-back – but so is Dan Burn. I don’t know if they play it with Burn together, play a back three or if Botman is an upgrade on what they already have.
“Botman is fantastic, he will be such an asset to Newcastle if he signs. He had the most progressive passes in Ligue 1 last season, it’s crazy. His balls in the last third are excellent, he advances with the ball. He has great vision, great reading of the game and he’s a big boy.
“The only thing I’m saying is his ability to turn, if the ball goes over his head behind him. If Eddie Howe plays a high defensive line, if he gives Erling Haaland a yard, he will never catch him. »
Moussa Diaby: “Bayer Leverkusen are building something very good at the moment. They have a good team, they could lose Patrick Schick and they want to keep Diaby. Newcastle are really pushing and they’re also a France international so the price has gone up a bit now.
“He wants to be rewarded for the season he had earlier, Leverkusen will have Champions League football next year, which Newcastle don’t have, which could lead to him staying. »
Christopher Nkunku: “I think Nkunku will sign a new contract with RB Leipzig and leave next summer. He was one of the Bundesliga Players of the Season and also registered goals and assists in the Europa League where they failed.
“He carried the team all season, as a hybrid number nine, number 10, number eight. Wherever he plays, he’s amazing. He also has a big role to play for France at the World Cup in Qatar. »
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