Newcastle have been linked with a strategy for Barcelona midfielder Samuel Umtiti in January as part of the squad that they hope will keep them in the Premier League.
Newcastle’s last match for the calendar year has been postponed, which means that they will start in 2022 in the relegation zone, two points from safety.
The magpies have high long-term ambitions under new Saudi ownership, but the short-term priority is to strengthen enough in January to stay in the top class – 90min has previously revealed that two transition lists have been established for now and the summer.
Newcastle are ultimately looking to bring in as many as six players next month, two of whom hope to be on loan from other Premier League clubs – the maximum number allowed.
Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Manuel Lanzini, Dele Alli, Divock Origi and Nathan Ake have all been considered, while also asking Manchester United about Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek and Phil Jones.
Further inquiries have been made to manager Eddie Howe’s former club Bournemouth.
Newcastle have kept an eye on Lille’s midfielder Sven Botman, although 90min understand that the Dutch defender is unsure of leaving in January due to his club’s latest progress to the last 16 of the Champions League. He also has an eye on a place in the Netherlands’ World Cup squad 2022 and therefore needs his next move to be the right one for his career.
Many players currently see Newcastle as a short-term risk as a result of uncertainty about their Premier League status.
Umtiti has been linked with a move to St James’ Park by Spanish publication Marca, suggesting Newcastle could pay £ 17m for the 2018 World Cup winners.
Since finally overcoming his latest knee injury in December last year, Umtiti has been a winger at Camp Nou. He has spent most of the past year as an unused substitute and has only made one appearance – 90 minutes in a recent draw against Osasuna – so far this season.
The Frenchman’s salary is an unnecessary financial burden for Barcelona while he is so in disfavor and SPORT pointed out earlier this week that the club will “try everything” to release both him and Philippe Coutinho before the transfer window closes in January.
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