Newcastle target Icelandic striker for January swoop

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Newcastle United have reportedly been keeping tabs on SC Heerenveen's Icelandic international Alfred Finnbogason and are eyeing-up a move for the striker in the January transfer window. 

According to The Journal, Newcastle had talent-spotters all over Europe last night to keep an eye on targets involved with their national sides, including Switzerland where Iceland fought back from 4-1 down to claim a stunning 4-4 draw. 

Owner Mike Ashley is understood to favour the January transfer window over its summer counterpart as he believes there are better deals to be struck, hence the early nature of the club's scouting missions. 

Manager Alan Pardew made a statement on the club's official website in response to criticism of the club's performance in the summer window, saying: "We did the majority of our business in the January window, signing five excellent first team players".

One of those players was 23-year-old France international Moussa Sissoko. Despite previously being courted by the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur for £18million, Newcastle picked up the Frenchman in January for just £2.2million, making him a prime example of Mike Ashley's bargain-hunting transfer strategy.  

Indeed, Newcastle were reportedly offered Finnbogason in the summer for £5million, but turned down the chance to sign the 24-year-old on account of the relatively large fee being demanded. 

Finnbogason has been prolific during his time in the Eredivisie, scoring 34 goals in just 37 games, with his six goals in four games this season forcing him into Newcastle's thinking. 

Newcastle will be aware, however, that purchasing players from the Eredivisie presents a significant risk, with several so-called "prolific" strikers failing to make the grade when making the step up to the top leagues.

Indeed, Heerenveen are no strangers to this, selling the notorious Afonso Alves to Middlesbrough for £12million, with the Brazilian going from 45 goals in 39 games to 10 goals in 42. 

However, with a rumoured transfer fee of around £4million, Finnbogason would present a far less significant risk for Alan Pardew's side and could be well worth the punt.

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