Newcastle transfer news: Howe 'really interested' in signing 'Rolls-Royce' defender

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Newcastle United are ‘really interested’ in signing Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly ahead of the fast-approaching January transfer window, according to journalist Liam Kennedy.

The 23-year-old has been one of the Cherries’ star performers throughout 2021/22, and his impressive form could see him reunited with Eddie Howe at St. James’ Park next month.

Should Newcastle move for Kelly?

After catching the eye for boyhood club Bristol City, Howe sanctioned a £13 million move for the centre-back in 2019 as he looked to bolster his backline.

However, Kelly initially struggled to settle on the south coast, failing to produce his best form as Bournemouth were relegated from the Premier League in his maiden campaign.

Since then, though, the 6 foot 2 gem has gone from strength to strength over the last 18 months, playing a pivotal part as the Vitality Stadium outfit reached the Championship play-offs last term.

Kelly’s continued impressive performances in the second-tier have seen him linked with a host of top-flight clubs, including West Ham United and Liverpool, but it’s Newcastle who perhaps hold the advantage.

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Howe’s previous ties to the player may work in the Magpies’ favour, and the former England Under-21 international would certainly offer an upgrade on the current options at the heart of defence, with former Cherries boss and Toon centre-back Jonathan Woodgate labelling Kelly as a “Rolls-Royce” player.

Nevertheless, Kennedy believes securing Kelly’s services would come at a significant cost, although if his arrival helps Newcastle to maintain their Premier League status, then it would surely be a price worth paying.

What has Kennedy said about Kelly?

Due to Bournemouth’s ongoing promotion push, the Newcastle World editor claims the £21,000-per-week transfer target would be a ‘really expensive deal’ to pull off.

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He told GiveMeSport: “Lloyd Kelly is one that they’re really interested in. Of course, Eddie Howe knows the player reasonably well. Has done a fantastic job. But again, circumstance suggests, I think they paid between £12 and £14 million for him.

“You’d think that would be a really expensive deal to do at a key point in Bournemouth’s season as well, where they’re fighting to get promoted back to the Premier League. That might be a tough deal to do.”

Do Newcastle need Kelly?

Prior to the extensive Boxing Day fixture schedule, Newcastle had by far the worst defensive record in the top-flight of English football.

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The North East outfit had conceded a whopping 41 goals in their 18 league fixtures – five more than the second-worst side – Leeds United.

Therefore, defensive reinforcements will surely be at the top of Howe’s wish-list over the winter window as he looks to pull off an unlikely escape from the drop zone.

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