Newcastle transfer news: Magpies tipped to 'pursue' £22.5m Premier League star

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Transfer insider reckons that Eddie Howe wants to create an English spine at Newcastle and thinks that signing James Tarkowski would be a good place to start.

When the Magpies' takeover was confirmed last month, the Burnley centre-back was reportedly set to be their first signing in January.

What's the latest news with Tarkowski?

Tarkowski, who's sitting on 170 Premier League appearances, has entered the final year of his contract, which means that Newcastle aren't likely to have it all their own way in their pursuit of his signature.

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Burnley still value the 29-year-old at £20m, even though he's available on a free next summer when his contract expires.

But Newcastle are now the richest club in the world and Howe is expected to have up to £190m to spend in January, which means the fee wouldn't be an issue.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

Newcastle have the joint-worst defence in the Premier League after conceding another three in the draw with Brentford on Saturday and must improve their backline to give themselves any chance of avoiding the drop.

Furthermore, Jones reckons that Tarkowski would fit the bill because he's English, with more than 10 homegrown players already in the squad.

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What did Jones say?

He told GIVEMESPORT: "They do want an English spine and that's why Tarkowski makes sense, signings like that, and I still think that Tarkowski is someone they're going to pursue."

Would Tarkowski start for Newcastle?

Newcastle have been chopping and changing between a back three and back four this season, so it's no wonder they're struggling to find any consistency.

Ciaran Clark, Emil Krafth and Fabian Schar have shared the workload alongside Jamaal Lascelles this season, but their hasn't been a settled partnership, which explains why the Magpies have conceded 27 goals in 12 games.

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But none bar Lascelles appear to have long-term futures at Newcastle, which should therefore allow Tarkowski to come straight into the team.

Lascelles is the senior figure in the backline and whilst he's yet to find his best form this season, playing alongside someone in the calibre of Tarkowski, valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, would be a far better prospect than some of what Newcastle have served up this term.

Furthermore, the right-foot, left-foot combination, would only add to their case to bring him to St James' Park.

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