After weeks of speculation, Eddie Howe was finally confirmed as the new head coach of Newcastle United on Monday.
The 48-year-old ex-Bournemouth boss, who has signed a contract until the summer of 2024 at St. James' Park, takes control of a side 19th in the Premier League table - and five points from safety.
While the Magpies' current position is far from ideal, there is significant reason to be positive for Newcastle fans.
Following the club's £305 million takeover by a Saudi-led consortium last month, Howe is set to be handed a significant 'war chest' with which to strengthen his squad in January.
Given the club's new owners are said to be worth a massive £320 billion, it should come as no surprise that the investment is set to be bigger than anything the club has seen before.
Who does Eddie Howe want Newcastle to sign in January?
Simply from looking at the league table, it's clear that Newcastle are in urgent need of some fresh faces. Who, though, does Howe have his eye on once the transfer window opens?
Now, per a report from The Sun, we may have our answer.
Citing a shortlist put together by Howe, it is claimed that the Englishman already has five targets in mind - with a strong emphasis on improving Newcastle's defence and midfield.
Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
With his sights set on winning a spot in England's squad for next year's World Cup, minutes on the pitch are vital for Lingard. Given the depth of United's squad in the middle of the park, that is hardly something that he is guaranteed at Old Trafford right now.
The 28-year-old would be an automatic selection in the Newcastle first-team, allowing him to push his case for a seat on the plane to Qatar. United would reportedly be willing to do business at around £20m - which is somewhat of a bargain for a player of Lingard's quality.
Donny van de Beek (Manchester United)
Another player who has struggled for game time at United this season is former Ajax playmaker Van de Beek. The 24-year-old showed his exceptional talent when helping the Dutch side to the semi-finals of the 2019 Champions League.
For reasons that remain a mystery to most, though, Van de Beek has never been given the opportunity to demonstrate that same form at the Theatre of Dreams, starting just four Premier League games in total for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side since joining 14 months ago.
Howe surely wouldn't make that same mistake with Van de Beek, who could do wonders for Newcastle from a creative standpoint.
United paid close to £40m to secure his services last September, but would likely accept less for a player whose time at the club hasn't worked out as planned.
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
After a highly-decorated career in which he has won pretty much everything he's competed for - including four Champions League trophies and a World Cup - could Kroos possibly be persuaded to swap the Bernabeu for a new challenge in the north east of England?
The 31-year-old has previously stated that he would be happy to see out his career in the Spanish capital, but Newcastle's new owners seem determined to test that resolve with a big-money offer.
Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich)
It won't be lost on Howe that he urgently needs to reinforce a defensive line which has already conceded 24 goals in 11 games so far this season. To that end, Newcastle are already believed to be in contact with representatives of giant centre-back Sule.
The 26-year-old German international has previously been tracked by European champions Chelsea, proof of how highly thought of he is around the continent. Encouragingly for Howe, the player himself is reportedly open to the idea of a switch to St. James' Park.
Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)
While the Premier League season to date hasn't gone well for Newcastle, it's barely gone much better for Aston Villa - and their captain Tyrone Mings.
Without a point in five top-flight games, Villa parted company with manager Dean Smith over the weekend and the club appear at a low ebb.
Howe worked with England international Mings at Bournemouth and could look to link up with his former player once more by offering him the chance to join him at Newcastle.
Although both clubs currently occupy the lower reaches of the league table, the long-term outlook for the Magpies is undoubtedly brighter than that at Villa Park, something which might tempt Mings into a move.
In view of the sheer wealth of their owners, Newcastle are going to be linked with a whole host of players over the coming months. Their fans, though, would surely be delighted to see any of the five men mentioned above lining up for their side in the new year.
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