Ralf Rangnick reviews Newcastle draw
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Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has reportedly told the Magpies’ board the four players he wants to sign in the January transfer window. The Tyneside outfit’s new owners are expected to spend huge amounts of money this month to help Howe claw the side out of danger.
The new head coach has so far struggled to lift the club away from the Premier League relegation zone.
Newcastle are 19th and have won just once all season. Despite that, they remain just two points from safety, although 17th-placed Watford have a game in hand.
Eleven points from 19 games would usually leave a club in trouble heading into the second half of a campaign.
However, Newcastle are in the unique situation of being able to throw vast sums of money at the January market to help move away from the relegation zone.
A consortium majority-backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund ended the unpopular Mike Ashley regime in October.
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Director and shareholder Amanda Staveley has already promised fans that ‘world-class’ players will arrive at St. James’ Park in the coming years.
The owners have now entered their first transfer window and several high-profile stars have been linked with moves to Newcastle.
And Howe, who replaced Steve Bruce in November, has apparently provided a list of four players who he wants.
According to the Daily Star, the former Bournemouth boss wants to sign Sven Botman, Lucas Digne and one of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Julian Alvarez.
That is on top of a possible transfer for Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier. Express Sport understands that talks have progressed well and a £25million fee will likely be agreed.
Newcastle have conceded a staggering 42 goals in their 19 matches so it is no surprise that they are targeting several defenders.
Dutchman Botman helped Lille stun world football by pipping Paris Saint-Germain to Ligue 1 last term. The 21-year-old was heavily linked with Liverpool when the Reds had a defensive injury crisis at the start of 2021, but a move did not materialise.
Fellow target Digne has fallen out of favour at Everton and has seen Vitaliy Mykolenko signed to play ahead of him.
Newcastle will likely have to battle with Chelsea for Digne’s signature, with the Blues losing Ben Chilwell for the end of the season because of a knee injury.
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Howe’s wishlist culminates with the request for a new forward. That would likely not have been a priority had Callum Wilson not suffered an injury that the Newcastle boss felt might keep the striker out for “weeks, maybe months”.
Aubameyang, who seems unlikely to revive his Arsenal career, is apparently wanted.
The 32-year-old was stripped of the Gunners captaincy and excluded from the first team following a fresh disciplinary breach ahead of the Premier League clash with Southampton on December 11.
If Aubameyang is not landed, Newcastle could turn to River Plate prospect Alvarez. The 21-year-old has scored 18 goals in Argentinian football this term.
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