Newcastle transfer news: Fresh claim emerges on Toon interest in 302-game Howe favourite

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Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie has revealed he ‘can’t see’ Newcastle United signing Bournemouth defender Steve Cook.

The Magpies have been heavily linked with the 30-year-old ahead of the January transfer window with The Sun suggesting he is moving up Eddie Howe’s wish-list, but it’s not a deal that Downie can envisage taking place.

What is Newcastle’s current centre-back situation?

With Howe’s charges deep in a relegation battle, reinforcements all over the pitch are expected to be targeted next month as they aim to preserve their Premier League status.

However, a new centre-back is believed to be at the top of Howe’s list for the winter window, with the likes of Ciaran Clark and Fabian Schar simply not performing.

Newcastle should have ample funds to spend following their recent Saudi-backed takeover, yet attracting star names to St. James’ Park may prove to be particularly difficult in January.

And that’s because the North East outfit are marooned in the bottom three and have one of the worst defensive records in the top-flight.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

As a result, the likes of Sven Botman, James Tarkowski and Duje Caleta-Car have all reportedly attracted the attention of Newcastle’s new ownership as they look to bolster their backline.

Cook has consequently been identified as a possible target after impressing throughout his 302 appearances under Howe at Bournemouth, although Downie doesn’t believe he’s on their radar.

What has Downie said about Cook?

The experienced campaigner has entered the final six months of his contract at the Vitality Stadium, so his signing could be a relatively simple one to get over the line.

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Nevertheless, Downie can’t see Cook joining Howe’s revolution at Newcastle unless it’s as a short-term fix to get them out of their current predicament.

He told GiveMeSport: “I hope I’m not wrong here, but I can’t see that one happening. I mean unless it’s a short-term fix, someone who can come in and do a job for him.

Would Cook be a good signing?

After arriving at the south coast club back in 2012 when they were in League One, Cook played a pivotal part in the south coast outfit’s magnificent rise through the football pyramid.

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Michael Bridges - Newcastle United

Do you know this obscure Newcastle United footballer from the 2000s?

The 6-foot beast won promotion from the third-tier and the Championship with Bournemouth before playing 168 Premier League games for the Cherries under Howe’s tutelage.

His proven ability in the top-flight could be invaluable to Newcastle in their fight to avoid the drop, but the club’s supporters may be hoping for a more glamorous acquisition to kickstart the new era under the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

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