Newcastle: PIF now 'expected' to address key area at St James Park

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe watches on

Newcastle United could sign a new central defender after landing Matt Targett, says Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

The Tyneside club recently made Targett’s loan deal from Aston Villa a permanent transfer, and Downie is now expecting them to add a centre-back to their squad in a development that could have ramifications for Jamaal Lascelles.

GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict
GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict

What is the latest news involving Newcastle?

On Wednesday, Newcastle confirmed that they had signed Targett from Villa, with the deal thought to be worth £15m.

The left-back joins on a four-year deal after an impressive loan spell at St James’ Park during the second half of the 2021/22 season.

He made 16 Premier League appearances and recorded a WhoScored rating of 6.99, one of the highest in Eddie Howe’s squad, as the Magpies went on to claim an 11th-placed finish.

Speaking after his permanent switch to Newcastle, Targett told the club’s official website: “I’m absolutely delighted to sign a four-year contract with this club.

“For me, it was an easy decision to make the loan permanent after the welcome I had from my fellow players, the staff, the supporters and the owners so I’m really happy to be here.”

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What has Downie said about Newcastle?

Having now addressed the left-back position, Downie is expecting Newcastle and PIF to turn their attention to signing a central defender, which he believes could push Lascelles further down the pecking order at St James’ Park.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the Sky Sports reporter said: “I do expect them to add at centre-half. He’s struggling to get into the team; you wouldn’t say he’s the first choice at the moment, and that is before they add another central defender.

“So I think that’s going to be a real interesting one over the summer, whether he stays or whether he sees it as the time to go on and seek a new challenge.”

Who could Newcastle sign?

Whatever happens with the 28-year-old, it does indeed look like the Premier League outfit will be signing a new centre-back this summer.

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According to The Telegraph, they are close to making a breakthrough in their pursuit of long-term target Sven Botman.

The same outlet states that while AC Milan cannot be ruled out of contention, there is a growing sense of confidence at Newcastle that the Lille star will choose them over the Serie A champions.

It would be bad news for Lascelles, who did spend some time on the bench under Howe, but Newcastle are obviously looking to progress and will not let sentiment get in the way of that.

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