Newcastle transfer news: 'Behind the scenes' claim emerges on Magpies' centre-back search

Newcastle United Eddie Howe

Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie insists that he remains “surprised” that Newcastle United have been unable to sign a new centre-back in the January transfer window.

The club have been heavily linked with a number of new additions this month as they bid to strengthen Eddie Howe’s squad.

What’s the latest with Newcastle?

They seem to be meeting with frustration as they look to bring in further reinforcements after signing both Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood from Atletico Madrid and Burnley respectively.

The two signings have both come into the club but there remains a desire at Newcastle, per reports, to bring in further additions.

There is a suggestion that they want to sign at least one centre-back, as well as a midfielder, a striker, and a winger.

With just a week of the window remaining, it looks like a remarkably difficult prospect for Newcastle to pull off, especially as there are reports suggesting that the club are meeting with resistance as they bid to land their top targets.

A move for Lille’s Sven Botman was mooted throughout the first couple of weeks of the transfer window, but a bid was ultimately rejected by the French club.

A similar fate has befallen the Magpies’ chase to sign Diego Carlos from Sevilla, with the Spanish club holding out for a fee of £37.9m and rejecting a bid worth £30m.

It now appears that Newcastle could turn to either Burnley’s James Tarkowski or Brighton & Hove Albion’s Dan Burn, per reports, but it remains to be seen if their Premier League rivals will be willing to bolster Howe’s squad, especially as the Clarets have already seen Wood move to St James’ Park.

And Downie has now revealed his shock that no deal has been struck for a centre-back.

What did Downie say?

Speaking to GiveMeSport, he said: “They said they did a lot of the spade work behind the scenes beforehand.

“I’m very surprised to be sitting here and they don’t have a centre-back, even though we know how difficult the window is to work in.”

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What do Newcastle do next?

They need to make a very clear decision.

Either Newcastle decide to pay over the odds just so that they can bring in reinforcements, or they realign their sights and attempt to bring in more attainable targets.

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A deal for Carlos seems prohibitively expensive but the asking price is clear; Newcastle could meet it if they chose to, but they need to make that call before next week’s deadline.

Otherwise they face ending the window with just Trippier and Wood as their new signings. At this stage, that just isn’t enough.

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