Newcastle eyeing bargain £2m move for lower-league defender

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Newcastle United are scouring the transfer market.

The club are set for another window under the ownership of Mike Ashley, meaning that their budget could be far scarcer than originally expected.

Indeed, the proposed takeover by the Saudi Arabia-backed Public Investment Fund could have swelled their bank account and allowed them to seek some marquee signings this summer.

Instead, it seems as though they are operating under some familiar financial constraints.

The Daily Mail reported on Saturday evening that they are poised to complete the signing of Jeff Hendrick on a free transfer following his exit from Burnley.

And it seems they are even shopping in the lower-leagues as they look to strengthen Steve Bruce’s squad.

The Sun reports that a defender has been identified as a possible target.

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That’s Oxford United skipper Rob Dickie.

The club reached the play-off final in 2019/20, losing to Wycombe Wanderers, and their failure to make the step up into the Championship could spark a firesale.

The report states that a number of top-flight clubs are interested in signing Dickie but Newcastle are leading the race.

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The 24-year-old has already played for the likes of Cheltenham Town and Lincoln City as well as Oxford, but he has just a year left on his contract and could be available for a reduced fee.

The Sun reports that he would cost around £2 million, and Bruce is keen to bring in young, British talent, with Dickie absolutely fitting the bill.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

This is unlikely to excite fans.

But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bust of a move.

Dickie missed just one Oxford game this season and he could be a shrewd acquisition.

This is not to say that he would instantly slot into the Magpies’ starting XI, because that may not happen.

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But he could move into the club and learn and grow under Bruce’s tutelage.

Bruce, after all, was one of the best defenders in Premier League history for Manchester United and he could impart some proper wisdom to Dickie.

It shouldn’t be forgotten, either, that Oxford actually kept a clean sheet against Newcastle at St James’ Park in the FA Cup last season, holding them to a 0-0 draw, with Dickie playing the 90 minutes.

At £2m, there is precious little risk attached to any deal.

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