TalkSPORT journalist Alex Crook insists that Newcastle United still want to sign two centre-backs in this transfer window as they continue to try to strengthen their squad this month.
The Magpies have been active in the transfer window already, signing Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.
What’s the latest with Newcastle?
They are trying to bring in further names after securing the headline-grabbing acquisition of the right-back from Atletico Madrid, while they have also signed striker Chris Wood from Burnley.
Trippier made his debut in the FA Cup third round, playing in the humiliating 1-0 defeat to lower-league Cambridge United, while Wood could make his bow this weekend in a huge relegation six-pointer against Watford.
Various reports have speculated on Newcastle’s centre-back targets and both Sven Botman and Diego Carlos, of Lille and Sevilla respectively, have been heavily linked with a St James’ Park switch.
However, The Athletic has claimed that Lille have rejected a bid for Botman and that a deal to sign him is now very unlikely.
Still, it appears that Newcastle are undeterred and want to strengthen their backline with two acquisitions before the end of the window.
The club, of course, are acutely aware of the danger they find themselves in, as they remain in the relegation zone ahead of this weekend’s clash with the Hornets.
A win would see the Magpies actually surpass the Hornets, provided Burnley do not beat Leicester City, and Crook has now confirmed that Eddie Howe remains keen to strengthen his backline.
Newcastle have conceded 42 goals in 19 games; only bottom club Norwich City have shipped more.
What did Crook say?
He told GiveMeSport: “They want two centre-backs, was what I was told by a very good source a couple of days ago. I think ideally Sven Botman would be one but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen now.”
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Do Newcastle need two defenders?
They have continued to leak goals throughout the season and they simply won’t be able to stay in the Premier League if they continue to perform so badly defensively.
Newcastle have taken a step towards remedying the issues by signing Trippier but it isn’t enough; they need top-class additions in central defence if they are to start climbing out of trouble.
Indeed, the club have conceded four goals against West Ham United, Manchester United, Leicester City and Manchester City and have shipped three against Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Brentford, and Liverpool.
They simply have to fix the defence this month if they are to survive.