Tunisia’s Jabeur hungers for more after historic Madrid title
NEWCASTLE: Premier League duo Jesse Lingard and James Tarkowski remain on Newcastle United’s summer transfer wish list.
Arab News has learned the Magpies have spoken to representatives of the duo to see if the Manchester United and Burnley players can revisit the failed moves in January.
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe is keen to improve some key positions in United’s starting XI this season as he aims to challenge the top eight teams in the Premier League.
And while United will look to sign at least four to five key players, the club’s summer transfer budget is likely to be largely invested in the addition of a top striker and goals for the side.
Value is therefore sought where it can be found. And Lingard and Tarkowski, both proven Premier League players, fit into that category, with the pair set to become free agents in June.
In the winter window, United were put off by their current clubs’ financial demands, with the Red Devils demanding more than $12m in deposit to secure Lingard through the end of the season.
The Magpies were also put off by Burnley’s demands for centre-back Tarkowski, whom the Clarets were keen to retain for their own fight against relegation. That stance was further hardened when the Magpies fell to trigger Chris Wood’s transfer release clause, much to the chagrin of then-manager Sean Dyche.
However, with fees no longer needed, both players are on Howe’s agenda for the summer.
The head coach is keen to sign a goalkeeper, a centre-back, a left-back, a central midfielder and two forwards, one of whom is likely to be a standout name.
“I’m open-minded,” Howe said when asked what’s in store for him this summer.
“It’s the right player for the position.
“You have to look to the future. I don’t think you can be blind to the fact that in a year, two, three years you can cause problems if you have a wrong-aged squad.
“We don’t want to put ourselves in that position.
“Ideally you want experience, players who ideally have played in the Premier League, but like Bruno, who isn’t one of those things, he was the right signing for the position at the time.
“We will approach it individually while recognizing that the club will always have a future and we must protect it.”
Two players who are likely to play a key role in United’s future are Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson, both of whom have chances of playing time at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium tomorrow.
Wilson has not kicked a ball since December due to a calf problem, while a broken foot has sidelined England international Trippier since February.
“Callum has been training all week. We are very satisfied with him, he is very well trained. He’s had two really tough days and got through those days brilliantly,” said Howe.
“Physically he’s looking very good, he’s put in a lot of work to get to this point. As always very happy with Callum’s attitude. He looks good so there’s a good chance he’s involved.
“Kieran is slightly behind him this week as he hasn’t trained every day but when he has trained he has trained very well. We will make a late decision about him.”
While a spot for Wilson is all but guaranteed, at least on the bench, Trippier will face a late fitness test to see if he’ll be available against the club where it all started for him.
Howe continued: “To have players of this quality in your squad is incredible. We missed them, no question, not only as players but also as personalities.
“Everyone has seen the impact Kieran has had on the team in a very short time, not only with his performances but also with his leadership skills and his ability to help players on the pitch during the game. Getting back in the training group this week has been a brilliant boost for everyone.
“It was a long wait for them. They’re both competitors, both winners and want to contribute to the team, so they were frustrated that their bodies didn’t allow them to do that at the pace they wanted, but they’re ready now, they’ve been training very well.
“That brings everyone. When you see good players on the training ground as part of your team, it can excite you.”