Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe is looking to be reunited with Ben Mee and sign his Burnley central defensive partner James Tarkowski when the January transfer window opens for business, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.
Howe, who was unveiled as the Tyneside club’s head coach last month, will get his first opportunity to bolster the Magpies squad he inherited at the turn of the year.
What’s the latest news involving Mee and Tarkowski?
Mee is currently the Clarets’ highest earner, on £55,000-per-week, while Tarkowski pockets £50,000-per-week with his current employers.
The arrival of 32-year-old Mee would certainly meet the approval of Newcastle legend Alan Shearer, who described Burnley’s club captain as ‘outstanding’ last season.
Although the Magpies may fancy their chances of completing a deal due to Mee’s contract being set to expire in the summer, Burnley have stepped up their efforts to tie the centre-half down to a fresh deal.
Tarkowski is also approaching the final six months of his agreement and Adam Crafton claimed on The Athletic’s Football Podcast that the 29-year-old has no intention of extending his stay at Turf Moor.
It was revealed in October that Tarkowski is on the Magpies’ radar and expected to become one of the first signings since Newcastle underwent a £305million takeover which has made them the richest club in world football.
Tarkowski was priced out of a move away from Burnley last year after the club refused to accept bids lower than his £50million release clause.
What has Keith Downie said about the duo?
Downie believes Newcastle are hopeful of welcoming Mee and Tarkowski to St James’ Park during the January transfer window.
He feels Howe is particularly keen to link up with Mee, who has amassed more than 200 Premier League appearances during his Burnley career.
The Sky Sports reporter told GIVEMESPORT: “I do think there’s an interest there in both.
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“They are players that the manager knows, Ben Mee certainly.”
Why does Howe know Mee well?
Howe was appointed as Burnley’s boss in January 2011 and it was during his time at Turf Moor that Mee joined the club.
Mee initially headed to the Clarets on a season-long loan from Manchester City during the summer of 2011.
However, Mee’s move was made permanent just a matter of months later after Burnley parted with an undisclosed fee.
Mee went on to make 43 appearances during Howe’s Turf Moor reign, with the defender also chipping in at the other end of the pitch by scoring a solitary goal and recording two assists.
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