January transfer targets for injury hit Newcastle

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Newcastle’s recent injury crisis has left Eddie Howe’s side struggling for form and fitness during the busy festive fixtures, meaning the Magpies will certainly be looking to strengthen in the January transfer window.

The injury to first-choice keeper Nick Pope against Manchester United will see the Englishman on the sidelines for up to five months after it was confirmed he would need shoulder surgery.

The job between the sticks was handed to backup Martin Dúbravka for the match against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Dúbravka failed to impress as Newcastle shipped four goals to Spurs with the Slovakian shot-stopper at fault for two of them, caught in no man’s land for one and giving away a penalty for another.

The rumour mill was already swirling before Dúbravka even picked up the gloves, with Arsenal’s out-of-favour Aaron Ramsdale and ex-Manchester United keeper David de Gea, who is now a free agent, both rumoured with a move to Tyneside in January.

It is unlikely that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta would be willing to let Ramsdale depart the club, especially for a direct rival in the league, Meaning de Gea is probably the more likely candidate.

The Spaniard turned down deals to join Inter Miami and Al-Nassr, where his ex-United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo currently plays.

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A 10-month ban for marquee summer signing Sandro Tonali certainly hasn’t helped Howe’s side either, the Italian midfielder hit the ground running at St James’ Park scoring inside six minutes of his debut.

Tonali will miss the remainder of the current campaign due to his ban for breaching betting rules.

One man heavily linked to help plug the gap left by Tonali in the Newcastle midfield is Manchester City man Kalvin Phillips.

Phillips has been unable to force himself into Pep Guardiola’s plans at City featuring just 29 times in all competitions since joining in the summer transfer window of 2022 for £49 million.

Newcastle will face stiff competition for the City midfielder with Spurs also chasing Phillips’ signature after facing an injury crisis of their own.

At 28-years-old Phillips still has time left in his career, and Tyneside could be a great place for him to revive his career with some much-needed playing time.

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Ruben Neves was another name mentioned to help fill the void left by Tonali, with the midfielder playing in the Saudi Pro League for Al Hilal.

Al Hilal are one of four Saudi Pro League teams that share the same majority shareholders as the Magpies, and it was rumoured Newcastle would look to loan the Portuguese man from their sister club.

But Neves ruled himself out of the move to Tyneside in an interview with BBC Sport bluntly when he bluntly said: “I don’t go.”

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Newcastle will be happy to see the return of Sven Botman and Joe Willock from the treatment room with the pair expected to return to action before the new year.

Both players were a key part of the squad before their injuries, with Botman’s presence in the back four a real miss.

Newcastle will also find out their fate in the Champions League this week, a victory against AC Milan paired with Paris Saint Germain failing to beat Borussia Dortmund would see the Magpies progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

This means some big match-ups may await the Magpies, and reinforcements will certainly be needed if their injury problems continue.